Well first of all there is OCCRA which you know about. We also have team meetings every Tuesday after school for about an hour or 2. We have parties like Halloween, Christmas, Birthdays, and most of us either go bowling together or play football on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also about 15 of us and our team is only 23 this year that stay after school everyday to work on something like the mill, lathes, welding, drill presses, band saws, and all of the common machinery just to practice before the season starts, so we all know how to do it. The machinery is readily available in our shop I don’t know about your team but it’s an idea. We also have been cleaning and reorganizing(REALLY NEEDED IT) :ahh: but it will be organized for when the season starts. I have done nothing but clean for about a week and a half with about 5 other members. Just some ideas
In addition to doing a small food drive before Thanksgiving (a regular project of the team’s–if you come to Palmetto, bring some canned goods for the local food bank), 1618’s been focusing its efforts on understanding the pneumatics system. It’s been a learning experience–to my knowledge, the team has never used pneumatics in competition. (What’s worse, 1293 hadn’t incorporated pneumatics since 2004. Talk about flying blind! :ahh: )
Our team has had problems utilizing the Fall well in the past; of the past 4 years 2 of them we’ve done virtually nothing worth while, largely because plans were made and then fell through since no one took the time to organise it well.
This year we made a t-shirt cannon, held a few intro workshops, held a “presentation” meeting for administrators and parents, had some random team building activities, and outlined club rules and what it’s like. We also ran a few fundraisers. We still plan on painting our crate and looking at past year’s designs with the remaining time.
We don’t meet much in the Fall, only once a week and 3 or 4 weeks this fall we had no meeting due to odd school/teacher schedules. Half the club is in either ROTC or Marching Band, and there are other Fall sports/clubs represented as well, so we try to avoid doing alot in the Fall simply because no one has the time. It’s also a nice break for the teachers, who have to do so much in the Spring they need the rest.
We don’t do off-season competitions, there aren’t any here in Arizona and club members are in too many other things to miss school during the Fall for out of state events.
I have to say from seeing what’s happened the past 4 years, if you don’t have most or all of your Fall planned out before school starts, none of your plans will work.
Our falls vary slightly from year to year, but the common factors are typically training in various sub-groups, “mini-bots”, shop training, and a couple team building activities. We also end many meetings with mini-lectures on various things team members should know (motors, gear ratios, proper outreach behavior, how to order parts, etc.)
I don’t understand the question. Isn’t it always FIRST season?
Before build season, we do shop work and prototyping and planning and practice and have instructional sessions. We refurbish the fancy light ball that we built and run for the city of Kokomo New Year’s celebration. We take a more relaxed attitude to doing things while there’s no competition robot to be designed and assembled.
This year, we utilized the team’s vex kits. We left one for the FVC team, and the others were used for creating something functional. The first challenge was making a base that is both fast and durable, and the second was using one of the FVC softballs, and being able to control it around a track. The setup of having two different challenges, with a competition at the end of each, allowed for some of the rookies to better understand what is going on, and gain some excitement towards FIRST in general.
Our team (1714) uses the Mivwaukee vex league to get new team mates up to speed. We also do small projects like animations, programming, and work on different drives to see what areas of intrest team mates have.
this is our teams first off-season so we are kinda playing it by ear. We have alot of community service and outreach stuff going on and we keep trying to build something of use (like a t-shirt cannon) but nothing yet. We are also trying to organize alot of fundraisers so we don’t have to worry too much about money over the build season
Lightning Robotics’ runs a few various team building activities:
Student interviews for new and returning students
Introduction to FIRST
Introduce Subteams & Leaders
Ping- Pong ball Challenge
Straw Tower Challenge
Meet in subteams
Various other team building activities
Build & Competition Season overviews
Well our team usually works on various fundraising and community service events. However, this year we have done absolutely nothing. Why? I have no idea. I guess its because of lack of support from our school and we really dont have a teacher that is willing to help organize events. Our team is a very small team consisting of only 20 members 9 of which are returning. We do have weekly meetings that all members on the team are suppose to attend. Just after reviewing the attendance for the month of November we have had poor attendance from the new participants. Right now our team is slowly falling apart. We will see what happens in January.
This year (our first off-season) we mostly concentrated on learning how to use the camera, as we didn’t even touch the thing last year. That we did over the summer primarily. This fall we’ve been working on teaching the new members about FIRST and about robots, in addition to learning how to use Inventor. We didn’t touch that either :o. We hope to be much more advanced in terms of the robot next year.
Team 469, Las Guerrillas, participates in OCCRA. If there are any regional off-season competitions in your region it could be a good idea to participate in one of them, to give your new members some experience before the FIRST season starts. It’s an awesome opportunity to teach new students the basics of robotics, from how to use machines, to safety, to mechanical, electrical, and programming basics.
We also participate in IRI. That is a good way for us to end the prior season with a bang. It’s very fun, although it’s during the summer, so the new members do not come. Sometimes we also participate in Ford Sweet Repeat. We do have the new members attend that. It is a good way to teach them the various roles at the competition (battery team, scouting, etc). It’s also a fun thing to do.
Lastly, we have “team bonding” activities, like going to the movies as a team or playing laser tag. It’s a wonderful way for the team to become more closely knit group.