Team meeting, working on robot

Team Meetings

FTC Teams meet several times a week, and the meeting schedule varies from team to team and can even change in the middle of the season.  We covered some of this on the Season page.  When Michael and I were with Lord of the Bricks, we met on Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons at the beginning of the season, then we would add Thursday evenings about a month before our first competition.  At this point, we do not want to commit to any specific meeting schedule for New Kent Robotics.  As a team starts to come together, we can see what other commitments team members have.

At this time, we also have not yet secured a meeting location.  We are hoping that a local business or possibly the county will offer up some space for us to use for our meetings.  However, we will be able to make case for the need once we have a few members dedicated to the team.  Many FTC teams meet in a private residence (the home of a coach or member), and we are also open to that possibility.  During our time with Lord of the Bricks, we were fortunate enough to have some semi-dedicated space donated to the team.  This allowed us to keep some things at the facility, like tools, materials, the current robot, and a practice field.  But we also ran into a few issues since the space was not exclusive and could not be locked down.

Meetings are when the members are supposed to be productive, but sometimes the coaches are battling against youthful energies to make this happen!  Usually the coaches or advanced members will make sure we have a list of items that need to be accomplished.  No work should be done alone, so members will break off into groups of 2 or more, with a specific task or list.  This should consume the majority of our time at the meeting.

Near the end of the meeting, every member should work on an entry for the engineering notebook.  This is a constant struggle, but it is important to instill this discipline in the members early.  The engineering notebook is the basis for many awards given during competitions, as it is the only way for judges to see how the team arrived at the robot design they are using.  This discipline is also useful for the team members to carry with them in the future.

Lastly, we do need to make sure enough time is left over for any cleanup that is needed.