Feedback Requested - Team Welcome Kit

official-feedback
#1

Hi Everyone,

I’m dipping my toe into using the forum for feedback! Now that the new games have been announced and teams are registering, we are preparing to ship the Team Welcome Kits. Every year we get requests to not ship one or more of the elements in the welcome kits - the notebook, game elements, license plate, etc. As a not for profit organization, the REC Foundation is very conscience of shipping materials that get discarded. So my general question to those on this forum: Do you use everything in the Welcome Kits? If not, what would you suggest that the REC Foundation not include or maybe make optional?

Please remember that less than 10% of the VEX Robotics Competition community is on the forum so your feedback is just one data point.

Thanks,

Dan

21 Likes

#2

I would make the license plates optional for sure as we have many extra plate kits that never get used as we will reuse numbers for many years and use same plates.

22 Likes

#3

id say make it custom. if you need a notebook, you can get it. if you dont need license plates, you can remove them, etc

8 Likes

#4

Hi Dan,
I’d say the most unused part of the kit for our teams is the notebook. We generally use hardcover notebooks for their durability over the paper of the included notebook.
Granted these let us have a notebook on hand with grid lines for quick sketching, but they usually end up in the archives.

As @Bradley_4478X said, license plates do stack up for teams that just reuse old plates from years before. Personally I think that they should be either optional or only for new teams (if you can see that).

5 Likes

#5

What do you want in the welcome kit?

  • License Plate
  • Engineering Notebook
  • Game Objects

0 voters

3 Likes

#6

Honestly the game objects are the most useful thing to start your season. Maybe give rookie teams the plates and notebook, but I think that for any other team having more game objects is more important.

11 Likes

#7

Do replacement license plates still come in the VRC Game sets? I have tons of plates from over the years and we tend to reuse them.

While we do have different notebooks for competition use, I like the ones that are included as good places for the kids to take notes and do scratch work

3 Likes

#8

Plates are definitely the most unwanted item in the kits. We have a whole box of plates we’ve accumulated over the past several years that we’re not doing.

Notebooks are very nice to have, but are not an absolute requirement. Similarly, if you buy a field, then game objects are nice to have, but not required.

I would vote the let there be an option, either Notebook or Game Objects in the pack, although this might present some decision paralysis for newer teams.

3 Likes

#9

I would say that it being optional would be great, but that might not make for the most efficient system, but notebooks and game objects are good, and plates are not always needed.

0 Likes

#10

As an event partner, I always just throw the extra plate kits into my check-in box for competitions, as there is always at least one team who forgets to pack their plates. Maybe sending a plate kit with the EP stuff (trophies, banners, etc) would be a better place for them to go?

My team reuses plates, and buys our own notebooks, but I agree the notebook is handy sometimes, even if not used for its intended purpose. Game elements are always useful and appreciated.

I agree with someone else’s idea that maybe there should be a different welcome kit for new teams that included plates

8 Likes

#11

I personally love having plates come with the field, but it seems like everyone has differing opinions.

I think having options, if possible, as others have said would be the best choice.

0 Likes

#12

Overall I think all of the mentioned items make sense to include in the team welcome kit:

  • Lots of teams (anecdotally, a solid majority in my region) use the engineering notebook that ships with the welcome kit, and in particular I think it’s definitely better than a normal bound notebook for new teams.
  • Many teams also don’t buy any field element kits, or can’t until later in the season for logistical or fundraising reasons, so the game objects included in the kit can be a valuable resource.
  • Not everyone reuses all their plates every year, some might get lost or used for display. Plus, extra plates are always fun to have around, I wear a license plate nametag at every event I attend, and I had an 8768 plate in my car window for several years.

But, not every team needs every item. So if the added logistical complexity of letting teams choose which items they get in their welcome kit is feasible, that might be the best option.

13 Likes

#13

My team always manages to lose licenses plates, so getting them again each year is pretty nice. The game objects are really helpful for deciding how to build the bot before we get the field. Getting the notebook is also really helpful.

3 Likes

#14

The game object is always the most useful. We do use the notebook and I personally believe that it should be the required format for the engineering notebook reducing the impulse to keep up with the Joneses and move towards hard bound custom imprinted notebooks. And I want the license plate kit because it is the first thing packed for tournaments and is used, borrowed or stolen more than I can recall and I’D HATE TO PAY VEX HANDLING AND SHIPPING TO GET A RUSH REPLACEMENT.

1 Like

#15

If it’s possible logistically, then having some little form (like the poll that @lacsap) setup so you can select only the things you need would be great. As other have said I have several years’ worth of plates and number stickers just sitting in a pile in a box. Game objects are always the best part of the kit for me.

5 Likes

#16

As others have said the license plates are almost useless unless you are a new team and they take up space. We are starting to buy a full field each year so the game objects are good until we get the field. (We are using the extras for team signatures to remember the team.) The notebook coming it the kit is really valuable to us. I also agree that if you could do a form to be able to customize the kit the only include certain items would be nice so we do not keep getting license plates.

2 Likes

#17

I’d say the notebook for sure.

Game object - maybe but most likely not, as we just received our Tower Takeover kits.

License plates - for new teams, yes. After that… eehh… We can use the one we have or the field kit came with a plate as well.

1 Like

#18

Skip the license plates. I have enough to build an entire robot out of just license plates. Especially if you continue to put four license plate kits in with each field element set, there is no need for license plates. (A suggestion for anyone who has a box full of plate kits - I put them out for our Girl Powered event and let attendees make their own custom plate to take home. It goes over really well.)

Definitely put in a notebook for each team. I know some teams will buy their own non-VEX notebooks, but I bet the majority of teams that do a design notebook use the VEX ones (in our state they do), and it helps to reinforce the importance of maintaining a design notebook.

The game object is probably nice for a lot of teams, but if it made it more doable to include a notebook for each team, then cut out the game object. I already ordered a couple of game objects (and received them) for TT and I won’t be registering my teams for a while. I will also probably order and receive a full field set before I register my teams, so getting a single game object after registering the teams isn’t useful for me.

Thanks for asking for input!

4 Likes

#19

We have many unused extra license plates (with related numbers) and usually throw one into our competition kit to give away to any teams that need them. We never use the given notebook anymore. We usually get a game set right away and often don’t even unbag game items sent with welcome kit, although theoretically they are good to have.

It’d be nice to have the option - if so, I’d uncheck notebook and license plates for sure (most seasons anyway) and maybe even uncheck game items if we’ve already ordered them.

What might be better is to have a designated local EP or REC agent that if you have a ton extra you can give them back and the agent can be known as the place for new or needing teams to go get them free…

3 Likes

#20

I think the game elements and notebook will be helpful for the vast majority of teams, and the license plates for new teams (and some returning teams), and all of them could be put to use or given away by any team.

My suggestions:

Game Elements: Include by default.

Many teams can’t afford the full set, and extras are always good in case one breaks or get lost (yours or someone else’s), or if you want to have one for students to use when working at home, or to use for display/signing, or an extra one to give to students at the end of the year.

Notebook: Include by default.

Many teams use the welcome kit notebook, and I assume some may not use a notebook if they have to buy one separately. Anyone can give their unused notebook to another team (e.g. if that team runs out of space or if their welcome kit does not arrive), or use it for non-VEX purposes.

License Plates: Include by default for new teams, and optional for existing teams.

Existing teams can use license plates to put other text on the robot (I’ve seen the robot name, “Flywheel Gang”/“Puncher Gang”, and “How’s My Driving?”), as long as it was clear which color alliance the robot was on. Or they could put the license plates on their robots from previous seasons, if they kept them for display.

If necessary, you could tape over the license plate with a color that’s not red or blue, and put the messages over the tape. Or you could make versions of the plates in both colors, and swap them out between matches - and remove them if you’re short on time.

6 Likes