I got a chance to spend a lot of time attending FIRST Championship Conference sessions this spring in Detroit, and I got a decent amount of value out of that experience. I learned more about growing student leadership, about building co-ops to house the whole progression of FIRST programs under one roof, and about some really inspiring efforts to help people with disabilities. Most sessions I visited were well-attended and the presenters did a really wonderful job delivering their content.
*How could the experience be even better?
Today’s MentorBuilt article gives us a list of ideas for new conference sessions at the Championship.
#5 How I learned to stop worrying and love the BOM
The presenters describe how they made the activity of developing their annual Cost Accounting Worksheet (CAW) into a value-adding effort-- no longer an annoyance that distracted from the life-changing work of the team. Attendees will learn how the team’s business & logistics group engaged other student organizations at the school, including DECA and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), in a coordinated effort to gain a holistic understanding of the costs of developing a world-class robot.
How about you: what’s the dream conference session would you like to see?
Here’s mine at the moment:
STEM Activities You’ve Been Missing Out On
*What’s the state of the art in the world of high school rocketry? Who are the autonomous boat builders to beat right now? What’s the Power Racing Series all about? Which organizations are funding underwater robotics competitions?
This survey session will serve as a high-level introduction to all the other competitive youth STEM activities that you may have missed due to an exclusive focus on FIRST. Presenters will discuss a model for teams to more effectively engage kids in STEM by participating in a diverse set of these activities… while not spreading limited resources too thin. Prepare for extreme FOMO!*
Actually put some resources into properly archiving them for those who cant go to champs. I dont want Karthik clipping every time he gets excited about simbucks and blowing my eardrums when listening on headphones.
Yes, it was submitted for southern champs. It was not accepted. Andrew and I will likely be following this up this year with a revised version as we were both wrong about the bag. A lot can change in a year.
It wasn’t. We may like pushing limits but we know when to act like adults.
The next iteration is in process right now, it’s a lot more focused on problems within FRC. We do plan on shortening the history section, we believe it’s fairly important to understand where we’ve been.
We often go to offseasons hosted by really good teams and attend workshops to learn how they make a robot, but I don’t think an offseason will cut it for this one. My dream championship conference session is how 254 designs a robot.
I’d be down for a conference that talks about the different ways seeding goals dictates how your robot should be designed. Things like maximizing your tie breakers and where to look to find what’s important and how to toss out an activity.
Would an introductory course on inertial sensors (gyros/accels) be worthwhile? What about an intro and advanced course? I’d probably try to cover topics such as calibration, error sources, sampling and integration, error compensation, etc.
One way to expand on this idea is to find successful teams from a variety of backgrounds and resource levels and learn what the common threads are for those teams. I think there could be a lot to learn on how those teams prioritize and manage what they do and do not have the resources for. Unfortunately, the teams and builders we’d want to hear from will probably be pretty busy during champs.