Over the summer, Valor hosted a Chairman's bootcamp for other FRC teams with chairman's winning coach Steve Hyer from team 27 RUSH. Three teams from the Austin area attended. During the two-day camp, teams learned about how to successfully write their 10k essay, mini essays, talk to judges, and create an effective chairman's video. Through this camp, we learned presentation skills and practiced effective communication with our own team and others.
In order to ensure all tasks and deadlines are met and completed, Valor participates in daily standups and agile development. Through our standups, all sub-teams are able to stay on the same page as each student presents what they have been working on and what they are going to work on. With agile development, mentors are able to see our progress throughout the week and attend to our problems as they appear. These two important features to our team help us develop our skills and become more self-reliant.
Members of Valor have participated in the Bi-annual Cadathon. The Cadathon is a three day competition where students are given a robotics challenge and have to completely design in CAD a robot that they believe best accomplishes the challenge. Out of over 100 teams, Gabriel Diaz and Cole Ibanez have placed 4th and 10th.
Students and mentors hold design review meetings at the beginning of the season discussing all elements of our robot. We also hold design reviews after the CAD designs are made for each subsystem of the robot. All the students on hardware gather around a computer with mentors to break down each component and discuss the functionality and reliability of each part designed. Mentors and students critique the pros and cons and help redesign the next version. We held several meetings before coming to our final designs. These reviews teach students new design techniques, how to analyze CAD designs, and the importance of planning.
During the FRC offseason, Valor works to train all team members to use the machinery in our shop. We want all members to be able to contribute to the manufacturing process of our robot. Each student is taught how to use the bandsaw, drill press, and other hand tools. If a student would like to be further trained on any of the other machines, they get the proper training they need by certified upperclassmen or mentors, so they can operate the device. Having all members of the team being trained helps students become more independent and develop themselves into critical thinkers.
Valor maximizes team efficiency by dividing up into subteams when working. We have 6 sub-teams: chassis, above chassis, object collection, software, electrical, and business. Students and mentors work together to decide where students would best benefit the team and where their skills would be most effective. By working in smaller groups, we are able to become more self reliant, developing our critical thinking and problem solving skills.