Poll: Did your team register for STEM/Design on time?

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.

We registered on time. I know the regional rep also sends email blasts (news) to registered teams.

I have three teams attending Worlds, and everyone of them is registered for both STEM and Design. We did it immediately after they were registered, so we didn’t miss the window.

I believe that the number of warnings was sufficient. One of my teams want to do stem but forgot the register after I reminded them a couple of times. I still should have reminded them again.

The wait listed teams qualified after the deadline and they aren’t able to sign up at all. They’re also some national championships that were held after the deadline they can’t do it as well. The deadline was posted a long time ago and they have a ton of planning to do. It stinks that they have a deadline but they have a deadline for a good reason.

It may be interesting to see how many teams at Worlds are qualified for one of these. I’ll have to check into that…

We registered for both on time, but this is our first time at Worlds so we were reading everything pretty carefully during that time (since we had no idea what the requirements were). If this was a change from previous years and has caused confusion to people used to prior registration rules, it sounds like perhaps they should have made their wording more clear (maybe pointing out specifically that there was a difference and returning teams should be aware?). I agree that after awhile the repetitious nature of the blasts means that I quickly scan over a lot of it now! However, I read the original emails carefully and followed the links provided and thought it was relatively clear what needed to be done for registering.

I read the initial blast email pretty carefully and it made mention to sign-up for pre-submitted awards, but it didn’t say anything about STEM Research or Design award. Everything else looked like marketing fluff for volunteers, travel services, and the team party. So every other team blast I scanned over quickly and just noticed more marketing of Girl Power and Louisville Bats. I didn’t catch the correction and our Regional Support manager never sent anything. I assumed all teams would turn in a engineering notebook like every competition we attended, so it never crossed my mind that they had to signup to be eligible for the design, SEM research, or excellence award. I still don’t understand why they require the notebook at every other competition, but not require it at worlds. I kept checking for an updated agenda for when they would be able to do their STEM Research project, but never saw anything until I finally found a FAQ and this forum with other teams having the same problem. By then, it was too late. So, yes, I did get the team blast emails with the clarification, but I didn’t consider them anything I needed to take action on since they appeared to be more marketing related and not something I needed to take action on. The kids are bummed since they had been working hard on their notebook and improving their presentation, not to mention not being eligible for a number of awards now. I failed them as their mentor since it was my responsibility to take care of these details by the deadline. So, another lesson learned, this time by me, pay close attention to details and don’t assume. Either way, they will still have a blast at Worlds and we unfortunately learned a hard lesson our first year. I see other teams unfortunately ran into the same problem, so this tells me their is an issue here that needs to be addressed in the spirit of event. I hope the REC Foundation in partnership with VEX continues to become more organized in the future with how events are run and communication is done. BTW, the FAQ also says parking is free on Wednesday and Sunday, but they wanted to charge for it on the ticketing website. So my wife called and confirmed, parking is not free Wednesday or Sunday. The FAQ should be updated to reflect this error.

I missed the deadline for the STEM and the Excellence award pre-submissions. The kids had gotten their projects done much earlier, but then they still had to make the videos. They wanted to do just a little more work on the STEM one. I must have misread the deadline, because I checked it the evening before, and I thought we were still OK. It said 12:01 am the next day, and I thought midnight the next day. Maybe also use the day of the week, just to be clear. Wednesday, March 29th at 11:59pm. Or maybe a 5 pm deadline would be clearer. Days later, I saw it written as 11:59pm. Also, the Worlds deadline was before the deadline for Nationals, which didn’t make sense.

Lesson clearly learned as my son began to cry when I told him, and we will submit at least a week before the deadline next year.