A few days ago we asked Chief Delphi why teams fold to help us provide an answer to the Montgomery County Schools Interim Superintendent’s staff who asked us the same question. Here is what we have learned.
- Over 120 people took a survey with 20 possible reasons a team could fold and the top three reasons were;
- We also received over 20 written comments. Here are the top three reasons mentioned in those comments.
- The disappearance of an FRC team may not mean the disappearance of the robotics program
- Several of the commenters mentioned that the FRC teams folded to focus on smaller robotics competitions like FTC, VEX or FLL teams.
- Some community teams experienced issues because more school were starting teams, so there was a net increase in robotics programs in the area
- Community teams pull from multiple schools
As with all things change happens and teams need to adapt. Several of the commenters talked about planning for change by building robust teams of mentors, diversifying your pool of sponsors and understanding the risks that your team is faced with. Team 125, the Nutrons are taking their understanding of risks to the next level by creating a way to measure how stable a team is in 6 areas;
They will be piloting a system at several regionals (AZ North, Dartmouth District, Rhode Island District, Boston District, Pine Tree District, NE District Championship) to help identify teams that are at risk in one or more areas and work with those teams to help them stabilize and grow. They have made their rubric available here if you want to take a look. We have offered to help gather data from our region to allow them to build a larger database and possibly identify teams in our area who are on the edge of folding. We will post updates on this if this comes about.