somebody help me ...

Hi everyone :smiley:

i am currently mentoring 5119a at my school (i am 5119z) … and basically we have a competition on wednesday and they have not completed there robot yet :confused:

they seem to have little enthusiasm to finish … what should i do ? … suggestions …

do i stop them going, or send them 2 fail ?

I would send them to fail if they don’t want to work. They will realize that they need to work on their robot more, and that should (hopefully) get them to actually learn and work on their robot. Failing, and losing are not fun, but that’s how you get better.

What do they still have to do?

If they have the base done let them go with a pusher bot. If they have not put much effort into trying to finish then let them fail on their own. Even a pusher bot can do well if they get the right alliance and work out a strategy ahead of time.

As for having a couple of day’s, that’s plenty of time if they put their minds to it. We went to San Antonio with a robot that failed miserably, got home around 11pm on Sunday and had a complete new robot built by Tuesday night.

If they are putting the effort then help and support them, if they are complacent then let them fail, it might be the most important thing they learn all year. Our first competition in Greenville last December was with a pusher bot that they had started 6 weeks prior. Needless to say that after showing up with just a base they managed to do 3 times the work in the 3 weeks before their next competition. The lesson that was learned is the driving force behind the motivation that has us going to the World Championship. If everything had started o.k. then it might have continued being just o.k. Starting out miserably lit a fire that fueled a quest for excellence.


This has too happened to our team a few times before, this is what I found works well:

-Put it straight to them. If they don’t get it finished soon, they quite frankly won’t be competing.

-Help them out even more. If they just aren’t getting it, give some more help. If you really have pretty much completely run out of time, maybe tell them to try the most simple idea. And help them out as they build it too, pick up early on any mistakes, and if they aren’t sure of how to do something (say, how to mount the motor, should it be here, should it be here, etc) give them a good idea and then briefly explain why. That way you aren’t making them do your ideas so much, but the more sensible ideas with reasoning.

Also maybe you could post what they are doing on here and we could give them some quick pointers?

GOOD LUCK!!! It can be really tough building with not much time on the clock… I am normally still building my own robot the night before a competition.

Oh, and keep their spirits high :slight_smile: it will help enormously.



(10 char)

Just a few questions:

*]Is it a robotics club or class?
*]How often do you meet and for how long?
*]How much is actually completed?
*]How many students are there?

We do our robotics program through a club and I must say that enthusiasm has certainly never been a problem we’ve had. We have pretty much a student-run club and everyone has a part.

Some things to think about, maybe not for this competition but for the future:
*]Try to let the students hash out ideas on their own but emphasize that simple ideas often work best. It is also not a bad idea to do some research on different lifts (six bar, scissor, chain, …) and introduce these concepts to the students so they can make informed decsions about what to build.
*]Make sure they have a very relaxed environment. We joke around and listen to music while we work. There’s no need for a stressful work environment.
*]Students love to compete so if you have multiple teams you should pit them against eachother in competitions regularly, even if they’re not ready, to keep them reminded that they need to stay on task.
*]Students should all have responsibilities - it shouldn’t be a free-for-all. Have some in charge of organizing parts, a team leader in charge of getting the robot built, some helpers for him/her, others doing design details for the engineering notebook, etc. This keeps them interested rather than aimlessly wandering.

Our team did horrible our first year and it’s really a learn-as-you-go experience. As your robotics program matures, you’ll find it getting much better over the years.

Also agreed. :slight_smile:


I agree that you should send them anyway. Seeing all the other robots performing well and winning should inspire the members to try to build something even better. Additionally, seeing the whole team compete can help you differentiate between the people with passion for robotics, and those who just decrease productivity.

Yeah, we had to boot this guy off the team do to his lack of enthusiasm…

I have had students like that with the FTC teams that I mentor. There will naturally be people that have an interest and others that do not. Nobody likes to lose. So if they go to the competition and they don’t do so well, they will learn. Just make sure that they are not sitting around just wasting time.

Yep… I seen this type of character too

Sleeps, All The Time… Usually in the middle of the Work Area, reducing productivity, and Team Morale… Gives “dirty looks” when disturbed…

And when awake, is aloof, or complains Loudly about something, ( e.g. No Food, Wrong Food, Doesn’t get the Respect of their peers… ) or sometimes even goes Out of Their Way to draw Attention to themselves, distracting from the Project at Hand… Or those Really, Smug Looks… Thinks the World revolves around them


Basically, Not a Team Player…
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It sounds like you have an All Rookie Team…

This is helpful in the Team Dynamic, in that there is no Experienced Members to Take Over and do all the Work, excluding the New Members…

But also, it means that the Team has limited Role Models and Experience in the Whole Robotics Competition Process… They can’t see, The Big Picture

If you don’t want to Mix the Rookie Teams with the Veteran Teams, have them Watch some You Tube videos of some Vex Competitions… Videos of your Veteran Teams, the New Zealand Teams and so on… If you can find some Sack Attack competitions, even better, because they can see what the Field looks like during a Competition, how Fast it goes and what does and does not happen…

Then focus on building the Best Bot they can, ( if they’re still interested ), even if it is just a Blocker Bot…

hi guys … it is a set of 3 people. the competition is 2morrow and they still havent completed it, atm the drive is not working, they are planning to repair it and build the lift and intake on the way 2morrow morning on the bus (2 hours before the event)

in regards to meeting …

we meet up 1 hour before school, 15 mins at break, 30 mins at lunch and 1 hour after school everyday, so like 2hours 45 per day … and they have had months and months …

Some of the best work gets done on the bus (and in the time between matches). Then the light bulb goes on and someone realizes, “If only we’d put in these few hours last week instead of today’s competition, we would have been awesome!”

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Welcome to becoming a Manager…

Maybe they find the Concepts too hard… Or maybe they really are not interested in Robotics, but need to do something for Credit or an Activity…

The fact that they don’t want to take the stuff home to work on it certainly suggests a lack of enthusiasm.

Honestly though, that almost seems like too much time to me. Our team meets 3-4 times a week for an hour although usually the team leaders take their bots home over the weekend to work on them if they have time.

If you give them too much time it really encourages the “oh I’ll just do this later” mentality. Our mentors cannot meet often and we are constantly reminded of how little time we have. We therefore use our time to the max as we can.

as i expected, placed dead last, mostly they couldn’t be arsed to go 2 the matches …

hi, also they told me today that they actually hated doing vex, and they would rather go and do something else in school, so they all left, i have already got another set of students willing to design and build a new robot, so we are sorting that for next season …

annoying, but as mentioned, = my life of a manager :confused:

Don’t wait until next season! Have them start building a robot for this year’s game, even if they aren’t going to be able to attend a competition! Let them “figure out” the VEX system; how parts work, programming, general do’s and dont’s, etc. They can still compete among themselves if your school has more than one team or scrimmage against other local schools. Get them enthusiastic about VEX now to the point that they want to watch the World’s steam online and want to see the game reveal so they can start playing with ideas. Enthusiasm and proper resources fuel success.

Edit: Also make sure you introduce them to the community here. The forums are a treasure trove of information that dates back to the beginning of VEX.

to watch the World’s steam online and want to see the game reveal so they can start playing with ideas. Enthusiasm and proper resources fuel success.

Edit: Also make sure you introduce them to the community here. The forums are a treasure trove of information that dates back to the beginning of VEX.

+1 !!!

The sooner they start the Better… You might discover that these “rookies” are your best team… :wink:

And we’re nice :smiley: We’ll go easy on them…