Ok so this question may have been asked in the past, but I could not find anything. My question is, does your team take the whole team or just a sub-team to the Championship Event? (A sub-team being only a small fraction of your team.)
I’ll start, for the last few years, 103 has only take a small group of about 7 to 10 students with about 5 mentors.
Since this is the second time we’re going to Championship in the last 6 years, you wouldn’t be able to say we do anything normally, but we’re taking 16 out of a team of 40. We would be taking only 12 kids, but since we won Chairman’s we’re also taking our presenters and a couple of underclassmen we’re grooming for leadership next year. Sub teams are the way to go, if only because it is significantly cheaper.
If you have the students pay to go to competitions like I had to when I was on my high school team, then I say bring as many kids who deserve to go that can also pay to go(we did have payment plans for those who needed it).
As for the team I mentored while in college the team payed for the students to go so we had very strict rules on how to qualify yourself to be able to go to any competition let alone the championship. But we always tried to bring as many students as possible because the championship is something that you have to experience its not something that you can just be told about and really understand it.
What type of rules did you implement? I’m just curious because I have thought about this in the past and we have a few rules ourselves, like the student must have certain grades and be on the honor roll to travel with the team.
With my experiences with my team (past three years attending CMP), we usually have anyone who would like to attend go. That being said, there is also a cost to attendance which is subsidized by the team. We do this to allow everyone who would like to attend have the opportunity to.
Students who don’t attend are usually the students who cannot afford to miss school. (due to CMP being so close to AP testing)
As for numbers, we usually fill up an entire tour bus with our team alone. That includes students, mentors, and parents.
It should also be noted that we have the same grade requirement to attend CMP as our competitions.
Team MARS takes anyone who wishes to attend. (That’s not saying that your team needs to do that.) Our team believes that anyone who wishes to go should have the opportunity to. The team covers as much of the cost as possible, leaving little for the families to pay for. Of course, for those who are financially unable, we pitch in and help them out. The competitions provide a great learning experience, and all our members are involved in activites at the events.
Dependent on the size of your team and the cost, the event should be open to all members, not just a select few. If you’re afraid of over-crowding people in your pit area, there’s always the stands (the matches are awesome). Scheduling your members to be places tends to help too.
I do not know about before, but last year, as well as this year, we are bringing anyone who would like to go. This includes the driveteam/pit crew, the scouts as well as a couple PR/Spirit people. But our team isn’t too big in the first place.
To go to just the regional/district competitions you had to attend ever mandatory team meeting we had each week plus a certain percentage of the rest of the build season.
To go to the championship(if we signed up to go) you had to take some sort of leadership with the build as well as attend at leas 85% of the build days(we met 6 days a week for 3-6 hours a day depending on the day) and a couple of other qualifications that I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Also you have to have good grades, we didn’t have an honor roll rule(that seems really really over the top to me personally) but you had to have at least a C average to travel with no failing grades. Also the teacher from the high school who participated on the team would talk to all the students teachers and get exams or homework that they might miss during the competition and we had mandatory study time every night where the students would do homework or take the exams or just study if they didn’t have homework or exams to take.
This is about what we do. I already talked about our grade requirements. We have a strict attendance policy. You must attended everyday of build season as well as every meeting both during and not during build. (There are a few exemptions from this.) Students also must actively participate in all the fundraisers the team runs and must be active in getting funding for the team (that would be local contributors or corporate sponsors).
Some of you mentioned that members needed to have attended a certain percentage of meetings during the year. How do you keep track of attendance? Also, how are those expectations presented to the students?
At our lab, there is a computer by the door as well as a scanner and a wall of name badges with barcodes. One of our mentors made an excel type of thing to keep track of this. It shows who is in, and on another tab it shows the hours. When we come in, (even the FLL kids) we check in, and when we leave, we check out. If you forget to check out, I believe it checks out for you at midnight and it erases your hours for the day. This year, after the first 2-3 weeks the 10 students with the most hours were eligible for drive team.
We have weekly sign in sheets for all of our members to sign in on for each day of build. We then compile the data in those sheets into a giant excel grid which tracks the student attendance throughout the year.
That being said, we use a “three strikes” policy which states if you miss three required meetings without contacting the mentor in charge of attendance, that you are subject to removal from the team.
Going to the championship for our kids is a privilege not a right and they have to qualify to travel there. We use a Star Chart system to track their attendance, community service, school performance, team presentation, journal entries and other goals to earn the right to go to St. Louis.
I have heard only about a dozen out of our original forty qualified (about 15 to 20 quit long before that).
We’re encouraging any member that would like to go to go. Right now, we have 45 members of 75 committed. 6 of our 8 mentors are going.
Our financial aid and scholarships are based on three factors: 1) financial need, 2) commitment, 3) amount raised over the course of the season. There is a core 10 students that need to be there (drive team, Chairman’s team, build/programming officers), another 10 or so that should be there (future officers, additional scouts), and the others are a separate tier.
Our team brings anyone who is eligible to go. You must meet a required amount of quality hours put in, meet your fundraising goal, and meet a few other requirements such as your grades, attitude and team participation, in order to go of course but we bring as many students as we can so that they can experience every possible aspect to FIRST.
The FIRST Championships provides the opportunity to see the really big picture of the FIRST programs. Our team works really hard to insure that every student on the team has an opportunity to see that big picture at least once in his/her time on the team, if that is their desire. We also think that parents and mentors gain a greater perspective and understanding of the programs by attending the event at least once.
We have requirements that the students must meet such as maintaining passing grades and giving service hours to the team. We try to encourage the students to keep up and do their part so that they can participate in this amazing event.
We also work very hard to insure that we have funds available for the registration(s) and the travel for the seasons that we are attending or hoping to attend. That is something that I’m reading a lot about - how rookies do not have the plans/funding in place to help them if they’ve qualified to attend. We all need to get better at getting that word out sooner rather than later in helping them prepare for the potential opportunities of the competition season.
Since we are such a small team, we bring every student because every student has a job to do at Nationals. Plus, we try to make sure that every student gets to experience it when we do go. We only have 11 students on our team, so it makes it a tiny bit easier. We each had to raise $1300 to cover the cost of the two regionals and Championships (we had some big donations that we get almost every year which brought our requirement down to $1300). We also bring about 10-15 mentors/parents with us. I believe this year the total number of people who are going to be on the plane to St. Louis on Wednesday is 22.
We have time requirements as well. Each student fills out a daily time sheet, that we look at and review to make sure that they are meeting those requirements. However, this year, because our State mandated testing is on the week of Championships, we will only be bringing 4 students. Our three drivers and my one Chairman’s presenter.