The rookie season of STEAMTeamRobotics FRC Team 7509, from the Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy, was, on balance successful.

We have summarized many of the things that we have learned here.

We share these in the spirit of the Hodinohso:ni` values (fairness, sharing, honesty, kindness, confidentiality, consistency, integrity, responsibility, responsiveness, cooperation, openness, trustworthiness) and with the goal of improving in many areas. Though we had our disappointments along the way, we did remain optimistic. Aside from learning about computer programming, fabrication, electronics and electrical circuits, motors and controllers and pneumatics, we also learned:

  1. How to work in a team of people you didn’t know.

  2. How to build a team.

  3. Patience and a need to overcome disunity, arguments in the team.

  4. Some team members take criticism personally though the intention is to improve the product or processes. We need to work on this.

  5. How to control urges to goof off.

  6. Gracious professionalism. (Truthfully, some of us are still working on this.)

  7. Every person on the team is unique and is going through their own persons. As a team, we should understand this, and try to help them however we can.

  8. Neuro-diversity -- something for anyone interested.

  9. Don’t put the radio too close to the pneumatic control unit; electromagnetic interference can result in technical problems.

  10. Our ferrule crimper doesn’t do a good job. It is better to glue-gun important connections.

  11. Have spare motors and wheels available.

  12. Grease the gearboxes after each competition.

  13. Bring a lot of spare parts to competitions.

  14. Make sure that parts are easily replaced, that every part is easily accessible, no matter how tough you might think it is.

  15. Build a better battery box on wheels.

  16. Make sure that the battery is secure inside the robot.

  17. Our battery spill kit is incomplete. We must improve this.

  18. We need a fire extinguisher.

  19. FRC Canada Safety training is great, one student and two mentors have completed it.

  20. Bolts with nuts are better fasteners than wood screws.

  21. Careful where you use locktite, and which one you use where. Some parts need to be removable!

  22. At competitions, make sure you scout out the competition so you know best how to deal with their tactics.

  23. At competitions, learn the strategies from the team captain but be willing to challenge a role assignment that is unreasonable, but go with the consensus.

  24. If you don’t have a part, it’s likely another team will have it.

  25. Be willing to  share what we have with other teams, whether, parts, tools or ideas.

  26. Bring personal money for lunches when not provided. Be more mindful of hardship situations where lunches might have to be shared / provided.

  1. The importance of knowing what events are coming up and plan for them (permission forms, transportation, lunches ...)

  2. The importance of completing permission forms early so that there are no surprises on event days.

  3. Need a longer planning horizon. Some activities, for example, trips to the RoboDome or to our mentor FRC Team 4039 in Hamilton were announced only a couple of days in advance.

  4. Right now, the team has no power tools.

  5. We really do need a proper robotics lab with power tools. Wooden structures on our robot, though repairable and replaceable, break easily and we need tools and machinery to fabricate the parts using more robust materials, e.g., metal.

  6. More team-based activities should be held outside of the workshop and school. Also, we should have more excursions/trips with the team.

  7. We need to win financial support to build a robotics program at our school. Let’s put more STEAM into our STEAM Academy!

  8. Though it is sometimes difficult to do so when under stress, we tried to demonstrate and live by the Hodinohso:ni` values (fairness, sharing, honesty, kindness, confidentiality, consistency, integrity, responsibility, responsiveness, cooperation, openness, trustworthiness)

  9. We might build more team morale by developing or adopting a theme song, having a team logo and jerseys, swag to promote robotics within the team, the school, the community, supporters and sponsors, and with other FRC teams and organizers.

  10. More reliable transportation arrangements are needed. Sometimes the bus was very late and we risked missing a couple of qualifying matches at one of our competitions or lost build-time when visiting our mentor team FRC 4039 to use their shops and equipment.

  11. Though we appreciate the support that we have received, we need to extend this circle of support to include more of our senior management team and our communities -- both Six Nations and Brantford-based engineering firms and other supporters.

  12. We really appreciate the support from one of our key vendors, Studica, who have been very helpful in getting parts to us quickly and being patient with POs, invoicing and payments.

  13. We also appreciate the support and funding of other key sponsors: Argosy Foundation, IBM, Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy and particularly our mentor team MakeShift FRC Team 4039.

The thoughts expressed above are a consolidation of contributions from members of the team and are not necessarily those of Six Nations Polytechnic.

visitor counter