Robotics is fun and challenging but it is also demanding and expensive. It takes a long time to design and build a good, competitive robot. The best robots have been completely redesigned and rebuilt several times as the year progresses. This year we want to be very clear what we need and expect of anyone who wants to be involved.
- Be friendly and be kind. Reach out to people who are new to the club and, if you are new to the club, take the initiative to make new friends.
- Be a problem solver. It can be confusing, especially in the beginning, trying to figure out what to build and how to build it. Talk to other members, watch posted videos, and join the VEX forums. Listen to your teammates and work together.
- Reach out to the other members who are struggling. What may seem obvious to you might now be obvious to others.
- From September to early March we will be meeting every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2:30 to 5pm. All members are expected to be here during those times actively working with their teams. As teams get closer to their competition dates, you will most likely need to be here on Thursdays as well.
- Normally competitions are on Saturdays from 7:30am to about 4pm. Each team should have two events though some teams may want to go to more. The State Championship (a goal for all teams) is normally the first Saturday in March.
- In addition to their scheduled competitions, all teams should attend at least one VEX competition prior to their first match. They do not have to be there the entire day; just spend an hour or so. They should use this time to consider what robot designs and game strategies seem to be the most successful. For example, if a team is scheduled to complete in January, members should attend a match in November or December to better learn what the competitions are about. Exceptions will be made for experienced teams who are competing in November or December.
- Each year we must spend about $2,000 for team registrations, event fees, and materials specific to that year’s competition. In addition, each year we need to replace broken materials and improve our inventory of metal, motors, and electronics.
- Our goal for each member is to raise $100 (or more). This can be done as follows:
- $40 club dues (includes club t-shirt)
- selling tickets to our pancake fundraiser
- parent volunteering at a VEX completion (two volunteers covers one $80 team fee)
- supporting our online fundraising efforts (we have not decided on a platform yet but it will probably be gofundme.com)
- simply writing a check
- In general, students will have to provide their own transportation to and from events.
- There are opportunities for parents to volunteer at the competitions. Not only can this save the club money on entrance fees, it also helps parents get a much clearer understanding of what we are doing.
- And obviously we need your help in raising money.
Mr. Sawyer's Responsibilities.
I am responsible for organizing the club, scheduling events, fundraising, chaperoning after school and at events. However, it is the students' responsibility to design and build the robots. I can provide some guidance but it would be wrong for me to design their robots for them. I can point to online resources and help with some of the programming issues, but ultimately the club's success depends on the students initiative, perseverance, and willingness to work together.