SLHS VEX Robotics Team

2019-2020 Robotics Team Information

WHAT IS VEX ROBOTICS?

VEX Robotics is a worldwide game and competition program where teams design, build, program, and operate a robot in an arena. Teams compete with and against each other to achieve game objectives, earning points for reaching specific goals. This program provides students an opportunity to learn about areas rich with career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Beyond science and engineering principles, VEX robotics encourages teamwork, leadership, and group problem solving with peers. General VEX Robotics information can be found at vexrobotics.com and also at roboticseducation.org. The SLHS Robotics team will be competing with the VEX EDR system.

VEX Robotics offers a team-oriented, hands-on learning experience for your child. Team members make a commitment to contribute to the team so it can accomplish its objectives. Team members work together toward a common goal and contribute in a positive way to prepare for the competitive tournaments. Roles and responsibilities within a team differ based on the requirements of the tournament and the skills/experience of the team members. An effort is made to place students in an area of interest or a position where they demonstrate skill or aptitude. Designers, builders, drivers, and programmers are the most common roles but others such as demonstration, presentation, and public speaking exist as well.

Coaches and mentors guide and assist students in the engineering and building process, but adults do not design or build the robots. That is the student's (player's) role.

HOW IS VEX RUN AT SLHS?

VEX Robotics is an extracurricular activity and participation is voluntary and open to all students. There is an activity fee of $120/student to participate. If the fee is a financial hardship please consider applying for a sponsorship. You can access the application here: Sponsorship Request Application.

Students wishing to join the SL Robotics program must complete a permission/code of conduct form as well. That document can be accessed here: Code of Conduct & Permission Form.

The deadline for filling out and submitting all forms is Friday, August 23rd.

A mandatory information/parent meeting will be held on Thursday, August 1st @ 5:30 PM in the STEM Engineering/Computer Science Lab (RM13). Anyone wishing to be a part of the 2019-2020 SLHS Robotics team must attend this meeting with a parent/guardian.

TEAM FORMATION

Teams typically consist of 4-6 players. There are some teams from the previous season that are remaining mostly together with 1-2 open positions within their group. Those teams should feel free to recruit and interview potential candidates as they formulate and finalize their team for the upcoming season.

New teams that are forming are encouraged to assemble themselves into groups of 4-6 and consider each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It is important to have a variety of team members that exhibit skills in the following areas: design, construction, coding, documentation, communication, and leadership.

Mr. Nolte and Mr. Mielke will serve as coaches. Mentors (advisors) will also be needed for this upcoming season to serve as lab session supervisors and to offer other help and guidance. Mentor roles are typically filled by parents, but can also be other interested individuals.

SUMMER LAB SESSIONS

Mr. Nolte and Mr. Mielke will offer Summer Lab Sessions running from 9:30-12:00 PM coinciding with the Summer Strength and Speed Program on Mondays and Wednesdays. Dates for those summer sessions are available here: 19-20 Summer Robotics Lab Sessions. Summer lab sessions will only be offered to returning teams from the previous season.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Teams are autonomous and can plan their activities and control their tournament schedule, but they typically meet once per week and maybe more often in the week or two before a tournament. The coaching staff will set a Lab Schedule after consulting with each team’s players and parents. Lab sessions will begin as early as September for all teams competing in the 2019-2020 season. Tournaments can start as early as November and run through February. Tournaments are typically a full Saturday. SLHS Robotics will pay the tournament entry fees for the tournaments we enter from our activity fees and our other funding sources.

For a tournament to count only 2 team members need be present. It's okay for team members to miss some practices and even some tournaments. This, however, should be the exception rather than the rule. Overall it's a lot more informal than a tournament sports team, but for a team to function well it will need its team members to be fully committed to the team.

VEX EDR State Tournaments are in late February. Teams that qualify at the State Tournament will have the opportunity to travel to the National Competition (US Open in Iowa) and/or World Competition in Kentucky. These tournaments are held in April. SLHS Robotics will reimburse the entry fee for teams that qualify for National and World competition after the competition is complete, but travel expenses and hotel are the responsibility of the team members.

VEX 2019-2020 Competition - Tower Takeover