I wonder how many teams did notice they have had to register for STEM and Design sessions in advance and did so, how many teams run into the deadline and how many are yet do discover they can’t participate because they didn’t register ahead…
Background: Things are different this year. In previous years, you just delivered the notebook on site during checkin and scheduled for STEM as well. There were so called “presubmitted awards”, but that was more like the mentor of the year kind of stuff.
This year, besides the fact that you have to qualify to participate in those two disciplines (which I do understand given the size of the event), you apparently had to register/schedule till Mar/20 to be able to compete. Strange, when the event registration ended on Mar/30 or so (IMHO that means online challenge winners had no chance registering for STEM/Design at all).
Anyway, the world blasts did mention presubmitted awards few times, but the wording wasn’t helpful:
“Teams are encouraged to review pre-submitted award requirements for VEX Worlds and may visit the pre-submitted awards page at: www.RobotEvents.com/VEXAwards. Students may also submit nominations for the STEM Hall of Fame Teacher of the Year and Mentor of the Year here as well. All submissions are due by March 20, 2017.”
Only last month the wording changed to mention STEM and Design, but that was easy to overlook given the repetition and the same paragraph layout of the blast email.
Now, my team didn’t qualify for either, but I know of at least two local teams that initially failed to notice this registration requirement and can’t register now. Moreover, when trying to solve the issue, they were told “we can’t make exceptions, there are so many teams calling because of this”.
That specific remark (if true) suggests the problem is more widespread and there was actual problem with the process/communication. Then, it won’t really be an exception and I think it could still be rectified.
After all, REFC knows which teams qualify to register (have corresponding award listed in one of the official events) and I would expect it more an exception than the norm to not register at worlds, so if REFC need advanced information for planning purposes, they already have a good estimate.
Please share your experience or opinion on this.