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Need suggestions for year-round robotics

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  • HCSFLL
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    Originally posted by sjaques View Post
    I love the idea of having 1 veteran team and 2 rookie teams. Just curious though, we had over 70 students fill out applications last year and only had the funds for two teams. So we narrowed down the students to 44, but it was so hard to determine the actual two teams for competition. We observed them on teamwork, knowing the core values and missions/rules. But we kept having to move students from team to team and it would mess up the team dynamics. So knowing how to place them together and mix them up with different abilities and personalities is rough. Any thoughts/ideas/forms on once you have the students together how do you brake them up into the rookie teams, by grade, by experience, a pre-assessment even?

    Aaugh! Help please and thank you in advance.
    Advice: Get more money, space and coaches. Keep them all! Don't turn any away. It is my battle every year. Next year it appears we will need 4 JFLL, 5 FLL and 2 FTC. Just keep fighting the battle for more resources and marketing the impact of the program. Find some volunteers that don't want to coach, but do want to help raise funds from the community. It can be done. If all else fails, make 9,000+ egg rolls from scratch to raise another $7,000 plus.

    Leave a comment:


  • sjaques
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    I love the idea of having 1 veteran team and 2 rookie teams. Just curious though, we had over 70 students fill out applications last year and only had the funds for two teams. So we narrowed down the students to 44, but it was so hard to determine the actual two teams for competition. We observed them on teamwork, knowing the core values and missions/rules. But we kept having to move students from team to team and it would mess up the team dynamics. So knowing how to place them together and mix them up with different abilities and personalities is rough. Any thoughts/ideas/forms on once you have the students together how do you brake them up into the rookie teams, by grade, by experience, a pre-assessment even?

    Aaugh! Help please and thank you in advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tom Mosher
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    Originally posted by Roosevelt Robotics View Post
    I teach at a middle school in a district with a strong commitment to STEM education. Our robotics program consists of two closely related but separate programs. We have an after school Robotics Club that meets from 3:00 pm until 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Tuesday is Beginning Robotics Club. Monday and Wednesday is Advanced Robotics Club. Thursdays are reserved for mentoring elementary school students in robotics. We also have robotics as an elective class. We have three elective classes with 28 students per class. These classes meet every day for about 55 minutes.

    In the Fall, we focus on FLL. I usually register 3 teams every season. We usually have 1 veteran team and 2 rookie teams. Team members are recruited from either the classes or the club. All team members eventually become part of the club because of the additional time commitment.

    Our Regional championships are in December which coincides with the end of the first semester of school, so at the end of the first semester, LEGO robotics ends. When school starts up again in January, we move from robotics to engineering. We belong to the MESA Schools Program and participate in MESA engineering competitions. MESA stands for Math, Engineering, Science Achievement. Students build bridges, gliders, cars, prosthetic arms, and egg drop containers. They write research reports and give oral reports. There is a state competition and a national finals. MESA competition ends in March or April.

    After MESA competition is over, we go back to LEGO robotics. For a challenge we use Deep Space Terraformers created by Carnegie-Mellon University robotics. The missions are run on a single FLL table and only one team at a time. Each team has 3 minutes to complete the missions and two different robots are allowed during a single match, but not at the same time. So rather than having one robot and switching attachments for different missions, you switch out the robot.

    We host a tournament for the elementary schools in our district in May. We have 20 elementary schools, but only half have LEGO robotics programs. We still get between 20 and 24 teams participating.


    That's our program for the year.
    Wow!

    Leave a comment:


  • someonewhobikes
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    After our tournaments are over (hopefully mid-January with the Regional Championships, but possibly after the qualifiers in Nov & Dec) we take a month or so off, then start up LEGO sumo. That goes until early May, when the kids are so ready for school to be out that they're not able to concentrate on anything. We've talked about doing something during the summer, but the difficulty of keeping all the kids around at the same time, combined with the trips we want to make, we've never started. Plus, there's a burn-out factor for us that probably needs the summer to alleviate.

    Leave a comment:


  • bob_irving
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful!

    Leave a comment:


  • Roosevelt Robotics
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    I teach at a middle school in a district with a strong commitment to STEM education. Our robotics program consists of two closely related but separate programs. We have an after school Robotics Club that meets from 3:00 pm until 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Tuesday is Beginning Robotics Club. Monday and Wednesday is Advanced Robotics Club. Thursdays are reserved for mentoring elementary school students in robotics. We also have robotics as an elective class. We have three elective classes with 28 students per class. These classes meet every day for about 55 minutes.

    In the Fall, we focus on FLL. I usually register 3 teams every season. We usually have 1 veteran team and 2 rookie teams. Team members are recruited from either the classes or the club. All team members eventually become part of the club because of the additional time commitment.

    Our Regional championships are in December which coincides with the end of the first semester of school, so at the end of the first semester, LEGO robotics ends. When school starts up again in January, we move from robotics to engineering. We belong to the MESA Schools Program and participate in MESA engineering competitions. MESA stands for Math, Engineering, Science Achievement. Students build bridges, gliders, cars, prosthetic arms, and egg drop containers. They write research reports and give oral reports. There is a state competition and a national finals. MESA competition ends in March or April.

    After MESA competition is over, we go back to LEGO robotics. For a challenge we use Deep Space Terraformers created by Carnegie-Mellon University robotics. The missions are run on a single FLL table and only one team at a time. Each team has 3 minutes to complete the missions and two different robots are allowed during a single match, but not at the same time. So rather than having one robot and switching attachments for different missions, you switch out the robot.

    We host a tournament for the elementary schools in our district in May. We have 20 elementary schools, but only half have LEGO robotics programs. We still get between 20 and 24 teams participating.


    That's our program for the year.

    Leave a comment:


  • RaiderBotsTeacher
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    we have a community based team as well and meet 2 hours weekly starting in September and go thru February assuming teams make state after regional competition in December
    In the summer we do 4H activities which we use the FLL setup board, but kids do the work on their own. A challenge at times with limited resources but our 4H has video entry categories that work if too many kids are sticking with it in the summer. We tend to loose kids after February as well as the leaders (me ) needing a break so do take time off until May or June. Our fair is at the end of July.

    We too use time outside of meetings for research or homework. I even have the kids do pseudo code outside meetings using documents from http://www.techbrick.com.

    Leave a comment:


  • RoboticsFun
    replied
    Re: Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    The coach call outline from the first week said teams that excel in FLL usually spend about 5 hours a week on the robot and project, more around tournament time if needed.

    Our team meets less than that, but are encouraged to work outside of the meeting time and bring their work with them at the Saturday meetings. That's the only way we've been able to get everything done, posterboards, making props, printing up robot design notebook journal, research, etc. and it's the coaches kids who are the most reliable oftentimes.

    Our group is community based, not school based, but most teams we compete against are school based. Not sure how they do things.

    Leave a comment:


  • bob_irving
    started a topic Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    Need suggestions for year-round robotics

    Hi all. I just got the go-ahead to expand our middle school program to year round.

    We currently do FLL as an after-school activity: two afternoons a week for a total of 3 hours. We ramp up just before the tournament, often meeting every day after school for a week or two.

    I'm curious about several things. How many hours seems per week seems optimum? Also, has anyone run their program within the school curriculum, and if so, how?

    Our situation may be different from others in that we are a small independent school (about 150 in our middle school). Having it meet after school means that our robotics team can't do sports, drama, etc. and if we go to a year-round schedule, they won't ever be able to participate in those activities.

    Any thought or comments would be much appreciated.

    Bob Irving
    Lancaster Country Day School
    Lancaster, PA
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