Recruiting is handled mostly by the teachers and students, so my explination may not be 100% accurate. The primary way we get students is obviously word of mouth; students currently on the team get their friends to join. This year we got a lot of freshmen to join because of their involvement with a FLL team. Our students also get on the school announcements to talk about FIRST and set up a table during the student orginization fiar (or whatever they call it). We have an advantage over many teams because we get students from 2 schools.
We take anyone who is a student at either of the two high schools or is a son/daughter of an engineer or teacher on the team. We don’t have any grade requirements because we feel it is important to get everyone involved, not only the top students at the school. We don’t have a size limit either; each year ~60 students join the team first semester and ~40 stay with the team until the end. We don’t put artifical caps on these numbers, it just turns out that way.
The closest we come to a requirement is that students must enroll in and do well in our class for the entire year. First semester we meet weekly to introduce basic topics to the new students and advanced topics to the returning students. Second sememster we meet weekly to review the past week’s progress for each sub-team, plus any meetings required for each sub-team to complete their tasks. Attendence and participation are required for each student to get a passing grade.
We usually attend 3 competitions and the travel requirements are different for each one.
For the local Motorola Midwest Regional we allow and encourage all active members of the team to attend and to bring their families. I think we had upwards of 100 people in our cheering section.
For the long distance regional we only take a small group of students, just enough to make the team function. We take the best students at each task: drive team, pit crew, scouting & strategy, video, and yearbook. They are chosen by the mentors as the students who participated the most and are the best to handle the required tasks. That turned out to be ~16 students this year. We view the regional travel team as the people required for us to have a successful competition.
For the Championship we take all of the students who put forth enough of an effort during the season to deserve to go. It’s a very subjective requirement. We took ~30 students to FL this year. We view the travel team for Nationals as the people who participated enough to deserve the reward of going to the competition. We take students who may not have a role at the competition, but who worked hard during the previous 4 months on other tasks (web team, fundraising, yearbook, video, chairmans, etc).
Now to answer purplehaze’s questions. We honestly don’t have a problem recruiting enough adults to help out. This year we had ~30 adults on the team consisting of engineers, teachers, & parents. We had an amazing turnout of engineers just out of school, and it sounds like they all want to get even more involved next year (the trick is to get engineers hooked when we’re young and have free time :)). We were also forutunate to have 4 teachers who were willing to open the school for meetings & to act as chaperones when we traveled.
I hope this answered your questions. If you have any more just ask.