The students of team 836 won’t know who gets to go on the trip to ATL untill this thursday. We can only bring 12 students and 12-13 mentors and parents. So some of the mentors, team captains, and myself were asked to make a list of 12 who we though deserved to go to the big one. It wasn’t easy,
Anyone who wanted to pay the approximately $600 can go. We’ve always had to pay our own way, so we dont have to worry about selecting a certain number that get to travel for free, or anything like that.
On our team a lot of things are taken into consideration. Grades play the most important part, fail or failing any class means no traveling. Also the more fundraising you did the better chance you have of going. Everyone has separate accounts for the amount of fundraising they did. We deduct the fundraising from the cost of going, some have to pay the difference. I don’t know off hand how many students/adults are going this year but we try to take as many as possible. It also comes down to who wants to go and for the adults those that take the time off from work.
As a side note I’ve never gone to Nats with my team and only gone to two competitions in the six years on the team. I hate planes. I know one of these days my team will knock me out like Mr T and drag me on the plane or just lock me in the crate. So you may just get a chance to meet me at Nats someday.
Our students have to have a 2.0, no F’s, be able to follow rules, not break curfew, be willing to work the competition not skate thru as a spectator, in theory have done fundraising but we haven’t gotten good at making that hard and fast rule and keeping track, we try to take a student and mentor from our rookie teams, this year took mentors from SCRRF teams who wasn’t our rookies. We try to get school officials to inspire them. We took a brand new only to our meetings once team member cuz she was well recommended, and she’s turned out great - we needed her to fill in for a last minute cancellation.
I would love to see them drag you on the plane or lock you in the crate
Anyone who can pay (fundraising or paying the difference) can go on trips. We believe that FIRST is an experience for everyone to have, not just a “select” few who did alot of work on the robot or fundraised lots of money. Even if they did not lay a finger on the robot this year, they still deserve to go.
I hear about teams who only bring a few kids on Thursdays, or to nationals. This really bugs me. Everyone has a role on the team, no matter how trivial. Even if it is inputing data into a scouting database, they still can lend a hand and be part of the great thing that is called a FIRST competetion. I mean that is what its about, right? Isn’t about learning teamwork, sportsmanship, and gracious professionalism… not just “who knows the most about building a robot”?
We use a star chart to determine if our kids qualify to travel. They have to keep up their grades, do fundraising, put in a required amount of hours working on the robot or PAW room activities, do community service and write an essay on what FIRST means to them and three journal entries. If they do this then they qualify to travel to the regional and to the championship. All 32 of our kids qualifed to travel this year.
Just one thing. If someone is an animator/film guy/whatever, as long as they are contributing to the team, they should go on all of the trips. I was talking to this one team and I said something like, “It’s good that we can bring a lot of people on the team to competition, not just the guys who work on the robot.” The response I got was basically “Why would you want to bring the guys that don’t work on the robot.” I think that everyone who does quality work for the team should be allowed to go to as many competitions as possible.
PS: A 1:1 ratio does seem sort of high, but that’s just me.
Welll, we have O who is the ‘head honcho’, as you’d call it- he does everything from running meetings to arranging trips to creating new teams- EVERYTHING, yeah, he won the Philadelphia Volunteer of the Year two years ago. He’s amazing. Then we have H, who works with the animation team and media group. He knows everything, and i mean everything about computers- its thanks to him we had our wireless network at cheseapeake and Philly this year- running our display computer from the stands. Our third mentor is C, who also contributes to media and chairmans, and who showed up everyday at building- she was invaluable to the build team.
The difference: our two engineers work at the North Montco Tech Center *NMTCC where we actually build our robot. They’re amazing as well. It’s such a wonderful partnership, as we work with kids from 5 other school districts making our robot.
We have an hour system, in order to go to nats you need 35 hours of work that isnt at our normal wednesday meetings. Its not difficult to get this amount of hours. I got 146 or so, the fourth highest on the team.
On out team the engineering mentors focus mostly on the building of the robot and game strategy while other mentors like teachers are expected to police the team and make sure the kids are doing what they are supposed to. Particularly on the road when the teachers value truly come into play and have to maintain order of 30+ kids in the hotel and make sure they are fed, safe, motivated and reasonably well behaved.
That job mostly falls on Ms. Foos and my wife and they do an incredible job.
Our team takes 3-4 adults and 10 students on Wensday night to the regionals we travel to (2ish hours away to both Annapolis and VCU). The rest of the team, 30 or so more students and chaparones, come down Friday morning and spend the one night. This is done for several reasons.
Not everyone can miss that much school and not suffer grade wise. We got some heat last year from teachers about students not doing homework and grades plumeting durring build season.
Parental help. As a school trip, we need to have x adults per x students. As a team rule, we pay for the adult chaparone hotel rooms.
Cost. It cost the students $50 for hotel to go to both regionals and the team payed the rest. To add another night to hotels for that many people would add $1000 per regional. This would have to come from somewhere.
As for nationals, we decided not to go this year because about half of the team would already be in Atlanta for a band trip and would be unable to participate with the FRC competition. When the team has gone to Nationals, the entire team flys down at the same time.
We also do have an hours system, where we log offical meeting hours and you have to attend 80% of them to go on any of the trips. As far as I am aware, no one that was attending meetings near the end fairled to go on a trip because of hours. There were some that were close, and were pushed along to the extra meetings that were added to the schedule near the end (but were not part of the ‘offical hours’ count)
If we qualify, everyone that chooses to can go. The only people that would be turned down would be the ones that are misbehaving or those who have contributed absolutely nothing thus far. I think we send the largest group of animators to Nationals.
Having a big corporate sponsor makes traveling far easier.