Hi there, so my school’s vex team has been getting smaller and smaller over the years due to people not joining our team. We started competing in vex in 2010 and we we’re able to make it to states twice over the years and states every year until the last two seasons. I am currently a sophomore and our team went from having 6 robots competing with over 15 people last year to now only two robots and three people left in our vex team. We started off the season with many freshman joining our team, but they all quit after we told them that they need to build robots more advanced than a clawbot which they followed instructions on building. For the next season, I will be the most experienced person on our team as the rest of the team will be graduating. I am trying to expand our team and get people interested in vex next year. Do you guys have any suggestions to promote our team/have people join. Also, how do you guys think will make it easier for vex newbies to join vex and compete?
Any suggestions/ideas are welcomed
When I joined the team, nobody helped me and no one wanted to be in a team with me, so I was a one-man team trying to learn vex and be competitive at the same time. I went from building a robot entirely out of steel for TP to building a 6bar towards the end of the season. There were many moments which I wanted to give up as I thought it was too hard.
For me, I asked my friends and those that are in my STEM elective if they want to join VEX robotics (but also my school’s vex stuff is very popular) but i’d say ask your friends or those that you dont know to join ur team. If you can, maybe create a website? To make it easier for newbies to join and compete, i’d say have them build something before hand like a DR4B or have them code like a miniature clawbot (or have them build it and you help them if they need help) to a controller to get them have an idea of what they would expect from joining vex. The only way to get better at vex is to do what you want to do and you can learn stuff from it.
Have them start off by modifying the basic clawbot. Dont just throw them into the deep end with the dr4bs and whatnot. Start them off easy.
My school always sets up tables during school events to engage students and inform them about the Robotics program. We also demonstrate some of the robots to peak interest among other students. That has really helped my school’s program to grow tremendously.
The DiscoBots have also had success with demonstrations at School. Letting people drive robots is an easy way to recruit new members.
It’s all fun and games until 10 people show up saying they don’t want to do anything but drive…
Keep them engaged by having them constantly working on projects, such as having them build a robot for the year’s game or trying to play another game.
Make sure the robots are simple to build.
Does your school have engineering class based on vex?
Talk to your teacher to see if the class could be offered with credits for doing vex. Many people who don’t consider competing initially could get interested after the class.
We are a community team, running from third grade through college. We are bursting at the seams with IQ teams, so we do not actively recruit at the IQ level, except for running 2 weeks of IQ summer camp. We don’t turn anyone away who is interested in joining the team. Middle School and High School levels generally take care of themselves, between IQ kids moving up, and students getting their friends to join them. Our ability to recruit VEX-U students has been totally unsuccessful, and our entire U-Team consists of High School alumni.
I think what would really help is that when you are inviting new members, you should take measures to keep them interested and involved. In order for people to actually want to come to vex, they need to feel that they are needed/wanted there. It’s important not to just throw them in and fend for themselves, because it can quickly become too frustrating and most people will quit.
As for recruitment, you could ask your STEM teachers to tell their students about the tea, maybe even have them recommend some kids. Are there other STEM clubs, like a coding club you could also recruit from?