V5 Team with no competition

I have 2 of the V5 Competition Kits, all of the available V5 sensors and 4 of the IQ Super Kits. I am drawing up a plan for a Robotics Club for my neighborhood. My idea was to focus this club on developing autonomous robots, doing outreach in the community to get youth interested in robotics, and creating educational content. For fun, the club would be about 2 teams of 4 that would also have challenges against each other. The IQ robots would largely be used for outreach, while the V5s would be used for developing skills. To get started, I would teach towards the V5 Certification so all members could have that as an educational foundation. I’m thinking 9th and 10th graders. Even though there are many teams in my area with great opportunities to participate in competitions, am leaning towards not participating in them. What are your thoughts? Is this realistic? From your experience, could this be engaging and worthwhile?

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I’m curious about this, too.

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Yep, great idea! You might want to start with the IQ kits and get people up to speed. They are easier to build than the v5 metal. The nice thing is the build patterns are the same for both robots.

Our code clubs use the robots to do coding. We have one Library in our system that’s got them, they are not excited about outside competitions, but have a pretty cool build program.

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I have seen a lot of teams show up to competition their first year with the worst robot and not knowing anything about the rules. I think the best thing would be to do a year or two without competitions and just have the kids learn. Then, if you have a team that is doing really well and they want to compete you should consider it, but if they are happy with what they are doing then let them continue that.

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Thanks for the feedback Foster. I might reverse the training to start with IQ based on your suggestion. It makes a lot of sense.

Hi squirrelman777, your point is extremely valid. I am not against possibly doing competitions in a future year. I initially thought of possibly doing competitions after a year of learning, but I’m hoping outreach, autonomous programming and internal scrimmages keeps their interest,

Yep, I’ve seen teams forced to do competitions that they aren’t ready for and they would rather just have fun and hang out at practice, but I personally love going to competitions so it all depends on what the kids want to do.

I think this is a good idea! I will say for me personally competition always gets me super excited about robotics and keeps me motivated and involved. I think that if they have some good organized scrimmages and set challenges that should be enough to hold interest. Even if you won’t be competing at competitions organizing a field trip to go watch some would be a good thing so the students can see what is possible with the robotics system they are using.

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Thanks roboticblackbelt. I agree competitions can be exciting. I have 2 kids split between FTC and FRC, so I have been to my share of robotics competitions. With regards to VRC, there are 4 ranking sessions, a league championship and a practice session right in my county each year. That was a great idea you gave. Going to some of them might stir up some ideas regarding what is possible, and even discussion of how various robots might have been improved. I didn’t think of that . . . so appreciate your feedback very much.

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