Elementary Robotics Coaches Meeting

May 20. 2019

Thank You and De-brief of the Season

Let me begin by saying "Thank You!" for an incredible season this year.

We had a remarkable 11 teams compete in the official group 1, sent 4 teams to the CA State Championship, and 3 teams to the World Championships! All of your hard work and dedication to this program is evident and TUSD Robotics is well known throughout our area and beyond.

Some things we learned this year that was shared by the coaches at the meeting were:

  • The best trick of the season: use storage bins and have kids shop using a store model instead of individual kits for each team. Easier to find parts and see when you are low on something.
  • Try and get done with robots early on so there is a lot of time to practice the game
  • When designing without directions at the start of the season (no direction bots), build the chassis and practice driving before building up (lifts, claws, ect)
  • Rotate the driving practice, one team drives while the other teams build and innovate. Then rotate the drivers to build and new team practices driving. One team on the field at a time.
  • When picking teams, we looked for experience AND who worked well on a team using a performance task like building something with Legos. We watched how the students interacted and worked together to help select students. Done as a sort of interview process with 4 students at once.
  • The season began with a parent meeting, a night to present expectations. We used this time to introduce a challenge and the parents and students had to work together with one another to build something. We could see who worked well together all at once and it helped us pick the students for the teams. Students could not pick up an application unless they attended this after school meeting with their parents.
  • We had too many kids apply, so two programs were run. One for group 1 and one for group 2. Others offered a 5 week camp for younger students, some allowed extra teams who did not compete but built other direction robots.
  • When beginning to code, start coding with the just the chassis
  • Start coding with students who finish quickly
  • Recruit middle school mentors
  • Do not allow students to change robots until it is described in the notebook. This helps make sure everyone understands the design and also helps when being interviewed by judges.
  • instead of driving practice for a full min, stop at 30 seconds before switching drivers and debrief strategy. Look at the field and figure out what would be the best moves to finish the game.

Thank you for sharing, coaches. This list is amazing and shows how much effort you all put into your programs.


Preparing for Next Season

Purchasing New Game Field Elements:

Robot Mesh - $99.98 + tax

Vex- $99.98 + tax and Shipping

Begin Thinking About Your Calendar (Practices, Deadlines, Tournaments)

Other Items You May Want to Purchase:

  • Engineering Notebooks- VEX
  • Back Up Motors
  • Back Up Brains
  • Back Up Brain Batteries
  • Back Up Joystick Batteries
  • Back up Joysticks
  • USB Cables

New Tiered Stipend System

Link to Document

In order to try and recognize the number of hours it takes to coach build a strong robotics program, we are beginning to raise the stipend amount for robotics coaches. This will continue to be revisited over time to eventually create equity between the HS sports coaches and HS TUSD Robotics Coaches.

Three Tiers for Elementary Coaches Next Year:

Group 2- Unofficial Teams Runs January Through May with one afterschool tournament= $380

Group 1- Official Teams Runs August Through January with one TUSD Saturday tournament and coding is required = $480

Group 1- Official Teams Runs August Through January with multiple Saturday tournaments, coding and notebooks = $600

Bonus $ for Coaches Who Qualify Teams and Attend State $250

Bonus $ for Coaches Who Qualify Teams and Attend Worlds $250

Mark Your Calendars!

November 16th- TUSD VEX IQ Tournament

January TUSD Robotics Tournaments- pick 1

January 18- MLK Weekend

January 25

May Tournaments TBD

Link to Survey

In case it doesn't open below... CLick here
Thanks again for everything and have a wonderful summer vacation!
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Resources Coming