Talking with Finding Blue Moose 5468

We recently contacted Finding Blue Moose FTC team 5468 in regards to how to run team meetings.  Here is what they said:

Hi Fletcher!
It’s great to hear from you. We’re happy to help you out in any way we can. Our team is a little bit different in that we are not affiliated with our high school and run our meetings out of team members basements, garages, and kitchens. (This results in many all nighter style meetings.) Making “To-Do” lists is pretty helpful. Having a list of chores/deadlines is something that usually helps us. We are procrastinators, so having some sort of set deadline can give us the motivation we need to get stuff done. Also, try and make as much progress as you can outside of meetings. (For example, if someone is struggling with programming, their homework is to look up as many videos and tutorials as they can before the next meeting. This will help you keep moving forward!) About how much time do you have a day to spend meeting? How did you rank in San Diego and what sorts of changes do you hope to make before the next event? Have you qualified for World before?
Something that has helped us during competitions is making sure to decorate our pit area as much as we can. It’s impossible to have too much team spirit! This season, because we have so many rookies, we also did a practice run of our judges interview. Some of the veteran members asked our newbies some sample questions we have had in the past to give them a feel for what the judges room would be like. Maybe doing some sort of prep like that can help your team.
Let me know if we can assist with anything else. I could talk about FTC all day!
Finding Blue Moose
After answering their questions, they followed up with this:
Hi Fletcher,
Glad I could help! I talked with some of my other team mates and we came up with a few more tips for you:
Some things that we have seen teams do before is make a handout about your robot. At the Vermont Championship last weekend, there was a team that passed around pamphlets in the pit area that included notes and information on their design. It was a neat idea. This made it much easier for scouts during the alliance selections.
One thing that our team tried doing at our first two competitions was setting up a Help Station. (This will probably be easy to implement, seeing as your team is hosting.) We had a table set up with basic parts and supplies and a sign out sheet to keep track of it all. (We borrowed this idea from our friends Team 5454 “dent in the Universe.”) We received good feed back from it. Doing something like this can show the Judges your Gracious Professionalism!
Color coordinating your table is a great idea and your interactive video software sounds awesome! Balloons are also a pretty good way to fill up your pit space. Our team also made some backboards highlighting our team members, robot design, and community outreach. You may have seen this on our Facebook page, but we also have a wooden moose that we painted blue and set up in the pit area. We had other teams autograph it throughout the course of the day, which was pretty fun. I’m not sure if there is something simplier than that, that your team could try. But it’s a thought! We also cut our team number out of cardboard so we could hold it up during our matches. That’s a pretty quick and easy way to show spirit.
I didn’t realize this initially, but I have watched some of the videos on the Suit Bots website. Your weighted ring detection system is very cool. Best of luck this weekend.
Let us know if there is anything else we can do,
Finding Blue Moose

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