I think that your answer will vary by coach. My feeling is that the team needs to build the robot each year unless they have kept the exact team members. They can build on what they have personally done in the past, but they may NOT pick up and use someone else's design any more than they may pick up and use someone else's code. On our team, that would be considered cheating.

Obviously there are teams and coaches who disagree with that, but I have not been able to reconcile anything else with the "kid's do the work" rule. 

I think that our team members who have stayed in for multiple years have far more ability to build and diagnose a problem than the kids on teams where the design is handed to them and they don't have to struggle through it. We have rarely won awards at state, but when we have, the kids know that it was ALL, start to finish, work that they accomplished, with their own skill. Since we don't have any programmer/engineer coaches, we've learned together. The kids passed my paltry skill years ago! 

In the end, I think that learning to struggle through a challenge on your own is a primary skill that I want my team members to learn. 

Heather Quintero
Technical Difficulties

On Sep 14, 2014, at 11:59 PM, Frank Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all,
  I was wondering where the line is between 'kids do the work' vs 'starter robot' is?  I have seen several suggestions (both here and on the interwebs) that this/that robot is a great robot for rookies, etc.  While my team has been trying to make a decent robot from scratch, I have taken many of the suggestions that I have seen from the internet and made what I think is a decent driving base.  Is it appropriate to hand that base over to the rookies and let them go from there?  Will the judges frown on a coach doing some of the initial legwork to get a base started?  What's the difference between that and finding a starting base on-line?  Ideally I would love to see them make it from scratch, but today's building session has me thinking that this may be a bit of a stretch.

Frank Levine
"The Construction Mavericks"

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