Starting a new Robotics Club

Starting a new club at the Middle School level. We can take 20 students at this time, but anticipate over 100 students wanting to join. What sort of challenges would you put out there for the students to see which 20 you would keep?
Thanks everyone!

If it comes down to this, I would recommend putting a sign up sheet on the door of the classroom or in your school office. Then take that list and separate them into 5 equal groups. Have one group show up on Monday, then another on Tuesday and repeat until all the groups have been in the classroom. Give the students enough time to mess around with the parts and the ones that are constructive (anyone who’s actually working and not posing a threat to those around them.) can be sorted out into a group or two and then try your best to get the remaining group down to twenty or so students.

There are really a few different categories of people you want on a team. Don’t make the mistake of just testing everybody as a driver or mechanical aptitude. You need:

  1. Mechanical design
  2. Sensor design/implementation
  3. Software (even more so this season and forward)
  4. Driver aptitude
  5. Documentation, engineers are notoriously terrible at this, so the discipline to do an engineering notebook may come from someone who is more into engineering technology, or even legal as a future.
  6. Problem solving and strategy (game theory and implementation can make up for weaknesses in other areas)