Week of 9/5/2022 – Initial Outreach

    Since I have inadvertently become a teacher, the first step in creating my curriculum is research. There isn’t a lot of knowledge out in the world on how to run an FRC team though, and even less about the off-season and learning curve specifically. There are no studies or any official sources of knowledge on almost anything FRC at this point. So, in order to figure out what will be the most successful content in my curriculum, I reached out to some of the teams that have done the most consistently well over the years, 33, 95, and 2481. I chose these teams because :

  • 33, the Killer Bees. This team is the 4th most decorated in the world at having won 49 blue banners(FRC’s equivalent of a gold medal), they are in one of the most competitive districts in the world, and they have been a team since 1996
  • 95, the Grasshoppers. This team has been around for about the same amount of time as the Killer Bees. I have talked with this team in the past and I know they have a very unique method of preparing for future seasons.
  • 2481, the Roboteers. This team has gone to worlds for the past 8 seasons in a row. They are a high school team(as opposed to a community team) making them a more 1-to-1 comparison with DARC SIDE.

    The idea behind talking to each of these teams is to find out what they consider the reasons for their success year over year and look for any patterns between them. Also, since all three of these teams have been at it for over 15 years, they have clearly figured out a teaching method for the newer students on the team. Figuring out this process will be vital in prioritizing skills to teach when I begin formulating my own curriculum.

    The other preliminary research necessary is determining the format of this online curriculum. Many online learning platforms have done this in various ways, with the most common of which being a video series. This is my current plan, but the specifics of how to make these tutorial style videos as engaging as possible among other complications has far more difficulties attached than just stating “hey I’m gonna make a video series”. To vet my current plan for this tutorial series, I have been in the process of creating a demo video. The content isn’t super important for this first video, so I chose a fairly standard and widely understood topic, drivetrains. I will be sending this 10 minute video out to as many teams as I possibly can by Wednesday, 9/14.

    And that brings me to the end of the first week! I hope to have heard back from at least one of the teams I reached out to by the end of next week. In the coming week the plan is to:

  • Reach out to a few more local teams
  • Finish and send out demo video
  • Reach out to a Hawaiian FRC mentorship group for opinions on this curriculum and if they would be interested in partnering down the line. (more info about this in the next post)

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more updates next week!

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