HELP with people that dont work

Ok, so i’m like the only person that is motivated im my group. The other people (3) won’t drop out of the class and are not motivated to do any of their jobs so i have to tell them what to do and that gets ME in trouble and im just trying to get everyone on task so that we don’t get detentions and we really need to have them stop this…

thanks for any advice in advance!

At our school, you can “fire” people from your groups - basically, kick them out of your group after 3 offenses.

(Note: This is my input and opinion regarding this topic)
I think it may be best to try to either convince, work things out, or motivate your teammates to work with you. If you are not able to do such, in the case that you are doing the majority of the work, it should be easy to declare yourself leader of the group since you have the most effort, in which by the authority you should have the privilege to kick members out of your team as the leader. I absolutely dislike members who go to extracurricular activities and slack off/fool around and is not serious about the activity. In these cases, the students who slack off should not be in such extracurricular activity and it probably would be more important that they find an activity that they may find more-fitting, would suit their goofing around, and would look better with their reputation and college applications because they know they contributed. Also, by declaring yourself as a leader, you will give yourself a boost in college applications too by showing leadership and authority, in order to take any moral means to ensure the success of the team.
TL;DR: Try to get them to contribute, otherwise kick them as a leader.

Can you move to another group and do a swap? All the motivated kids on one team and the good time charlies on the other?

Give all the unmotivated kids 2 motors, some c-channels, and a couple of screws or zip ties so that they can build their robot while all the good kids get enough stuff to build an actual robot.


Talk to your mentor about rearranging the teams. A lot of coaches want to split up the dedicated people, but that just leads to 1 man armies and doesn’t accomplish anything. If nobody at your school is knowledgeable or dedicated, think about partnering with friends from a different school.

I find having slack-off people in the room, regardless in your team or not, to be distracting and would slow down the Engineering Design Process for the dedicated students. I believe it may be better for them to leave the class and find an activity they would enjoy doing and may find success in, with the addition that quieter rooms allow more thinking and less yeeting :wink:

If I can offer a few helpful suggestions; way back when, our teams were separated by the skill level/dedication way which worked out quite well, meaning the competitive kids would be paired together to compete and those who want to have fun, well, they had fun! More recently, our teams moved to be based on grade level, which has led to a few issues as described by OP, but it gave an interesting perspective. Find things that each person wants to do, things they are passionate about. I have a guy on my team that wants nothing to do with the physical robot and only wants to work on the logistics and management. If we were to put him in a role in which he would be building, I’m confident he would quit.

tl;dr : Find out their passions and play to your strengths as a team.

I would suggest talking in private with your mentor or teacher and give them a sincere description of what you are observing and feeling with your group. Then see if they take action of some kind.

But I also know that such heart-to-heart talks sometimes don’t work - or can’t. I know some schools, especially public schools, have adopted strategies that purposely place high-performing kids with less motivated kids under a theory that the habits of the high-performing kids will magically rub off onto those with less motivation. My own observation is that this theory fails far more often than it ever succeeds. And yet school systems will sometimes insist on using this mixed motivation thing as a “strategy” and not allow highly motivated students to band together. If that is the case, I suggest you will need to try to keep your wits about you and figure out a way to at least prevent the lesser motivated students from interfering with your own efforts to succeed. (The old call of “lead, follow, or get out of my way” might apply here. )

One way to keep unmotivated students out of your way is to figure out how to distract them with computer technology. This is a commonly used technique in the public school systems these days. Install them on a computer for whatever “reason” you can dream up - doing simulations, “programming”, or scouting or whatever - and the unmotivated students will eventually gravitate toward some kind of other, useless endeavor like gaming or YouTube. That might help keep them busy while you get some actual work done.

It’s a cynical view, I admit. But it’s a survival technique I’ve heard kids use when saddled with team mates who refuse to work.

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That’s a good strategy. Its more voluntary for us, as there is a computer lab attached to the shop which the less motivated members frequently play games, watch youtube, and generally consume digital media without bothering the members in the shop.

Do the jobs of the people who aren’t doing anything instead of using time trying to get them motivated. If they aren’t willing to learn/aren’t interested, frankly, there’s little you can do to get them to change their mindset and they shouldn’t have joined that class in the first place. And while this will increase your workload, you will also be the one who gains the most experience and learns the most. And if you really are motivated and passionate about robotics (or any subject that this applies to), an increased workload shouldn’t bother you.

But keep this way of thinking to classes and such, because as you get older you will find that some things really cannot be done by a single person without going insane. But in those cases, you should be part of a team that is actually interested and willing to put in effort.

try to get them out of your team, and get motivated members from other teams onto yours.

I’ve dealt with people like that before. If they continue to do it, First do the following: Get evidence of them not cooperating, Then take it up to the teacher and tell them this is the case, here is my evidence, can you fix this i don’t want a detention. And while you’re at it make yourself the dictator of the group because they probably wouldn’t care.

From what I’ve seen some of these will become more motivated after the first competition.

I’ll recommend something different as an additional step - ask the teacher, or another neutral adult, to facilitate a discussion of the entire team about what is going on. Sometimes we do not see how our own behavior may be causing unintended reactions.

I’ve seen this, and experienced it. Usually for things like chemistry lab or math class or a group history paper. Oddly though it never seems to happen on, say, varsity football or varsity basketball.

Well we have a problem were some of are members will only build and don’t even try to attempt any form of coding.

Depending on how many people you have, you don’t need everyone to program. If your teammates specialize in specific jobs then those jobs will be finished faster and better.