Recruiting New Members

How do you all recruit new members, and how do you decide who gets in?

Meeting, announcement, posters?
Application, interview, everyone gets in?

For previous schools I’ve attended the process has been an application in which you need to display your understanding of the game and engineering concepts in vex. Along with create a simple robot design on paper that can score the objects.

As we cannot except everyone given that more than 18 people apply (3 teams of 6), a new system is needed to recruit and accept members for next season.

We of course would like to accept everyone but this is unreasonable (like a sports team). The application will determine who gets onto the competitive teams, we plan on there being being a club in which some parts will be provided and students can learn about the basics and prepare for the next year. Maybe have students develop a robot for a previous game?

I have seen threads about this before but it’d be nice to consolidate it all.

I am a student in the program and have no control over any of this. I am just wondering so I can make recommendations to the people up top.



Ours is a 6-year school. Students joining the school from 12 or 13yo (i.e. Year 1) and stay with us till 17 or 18yo (i.e. Year 6).

So naturally our main recruitment thrust will be with the Year 1.
Every year we will have an average of about 60ish students that will turned up for our selection trial.
We usually only take in about 12 to 15 students each year. Limited by resources and lab space.

So the candidates will be put through a series of testing stations and the end of the trial, we will look through all the scores and select the top 12 to 15 students.

The aelection criteria is not based on any prior robotics experience, but rather on their aptitudes and attitude.


This process seems to yield excellent results year over year. I like the statement about attitude as a factor.

  1. We bring robots to the schools for a lunchtime demo. Students get to drive and learn how the game works. (Everybody wants to be a driver :smiley: )
  2. If they are interested we invite their family to come learn about the program.
  3. Then students come to a two-evening class to individually build and program a basic bot.
  4. The student and their family start to understand the size and commitment needed to be in the competitive robotics program and they decide if they want to be on a team.

The four introductory steps allow students to try the program (and back out) before they make a commitment to a long season.


As we are taking in kids at 12 / 13yo, really not much point assessing their current abilities. They have so much more potential and long runway to grow.

And for the longest time I was wondering how do we assess potential. And then I chanced upon this book - The Rare Find by George Anders.

And it suddenly made so much sense to me - since attitude will determine how far a person can go, so surely attitude will be a big factor in assessing or gauging potential?

For our testing stations, apart from giving them the opportunity to showcase their technical competencies, they are also designed to give us a glimpse of their truth self and atittude.

PS: How I wish we can have some sort of conferences for the mentors and teachers to learn from each other and share tips. Maybe RECF can consider hosting a 2 day conference maybe 1 or 2 days before the start of the actual worlds.


My school has a few ways. Officially, we have a booth a fair for freshmen during their orientation where historically, I’ve chased them around with my robot to get interest and attention loll. Most of our recruiting comes from friends of members already in the club, so our outreach isn’t the best. This is the first year we’ve qualified for years since I’ve been at the school so maybe with more publicity we’ll get more members.

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We as a team could use a fourth member, so we are looking at people who have prior experience. Ours coach just lets almost anybody just walk in. Most quit after the first day though.

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We have an orientation and the people who we can actually tolerated gets picked to make a new team, (Vex IQ so teams of 3)