The last two years have been a time of reflection and have brought changes in FRC 5190 in how our team approaches new student training and recruitment. In a normal year, new students join together to create mini competition teams and prototype and build a mini-robot to get hands-on experience of all the different aspects of FRC Competition. This mini-competition was a chance for new students, and the older students willing to mentor, to develop connections and prepare for the build season effectively and in a fun way. However, the shift to the virtual environment has brought changes to this ideal method as meeting in-person everyday to build this mini-robot was not possible.
Needless to say, the Green Hope Falcons took a new approach. Utilizing our online presence, we have reached around 45 students who are now proud members of our team. For pre-season training, our team developed Falcon Academy, where the current leadership team along with veteran members joined to create classes teaching new students in fields of mechanical, electrical, CAD, programming, marketing and business. This way, members still had an opportunity to develop an interest in some of the many subteams that FIRST competition contains.
Now, let’s take a look at what some freshman members have adapted to FRC 5190. “My favorite thing about the team so far is the 70-20-10 rule where you work with the subgroup of your main interest 70% of the time, another subgroup of your other interest 20% of the time, and a third subgroup which you know nothing about 10% of the time. This exposes us to multiple fields (for example, engineering, programming, marketing, business, etc.) and makes us well-rounded individuals as well as teaches us how to work with others who have diverse skills and backgrounds,” says Aayush Kumar. Aayush is now the team’s main human player and has made significant contributions to almost every aspect of engineering our robot. Even through the virtual pre-season period, he has been able to make an impact on the team in the build space and at competition. Yash Gupta is another new student who joined our team after learning about robotics through the team’s alumni. Curious about robotics, he is now our team’s Cheer Lead and makes important contributions in engineering the robot at the buildspace and competition strategy/scouting. “My favorite thing about the team so far is being able to see the robot go from a design to a prototype to a functional and successful race robot…after joining the team, I learned a lot about how robots work and general engineering practices. It has allowed me to look at different robots and understand how they work better, increasing my curiosity.”
Moving forward, we can say that the new members are the heart of our team’s progression as their commitment to the team is what continues our team, passing knowledge and experiences while also the thrill of FIRST Competition.