Lessons Learned Template
Team Number: 6046      
Team Name: TecKing
Lead Mentor/Coach: Mr. J.F. Michaud, and Mr. Quadrini
Team Website: Tecking.ca
Form(s) of sponsor recognition:

Lessons Learned:
1. “If at FIRST you don’t succeed, try try try try try again and again and again.” There has never been a better platform for students to learn perseverance than robotics. In robotics, failure is a necessity for improvement. Though it took our team many tries to understand this, when we did, failure became something that the team could laugh about and reminisce on. Our biggest failures became our success stories because through perseverance, not only was a rookie team with little funding able to build a functioning robot-the team was also able to compete in two regional competitions and win the Rookie Inspiration Award.
2. “Did you see Tom’s bolt?” All throughout build season, the team struggled with tool organization and cleanliness in the shop. With screws 20 times smaller than the length of students’ arms, it was inevitable that things were to go missing. One or two screws loose or missing didn’t seem problematic to the team-until parts of the robot fell apart. If added up together, members of the team spent countless hours searching for tools, hours that could have been put towards building the robot. The team learned that putting tools back where they were found, keeping an inventory list updated, and marking down what was done with the robot, were practices that should be implemented regularly to improve the team’s overall efficiency.
3. “Didn’t we have more people three weeks ago?” Another one of the most significant lessons that TecKing 6046 learned was the idea of commitment. Though the team started off strongly with a group of 40+ students, as build season coincided with exams, the group of students slowly whittled into a small, but dedicated group of eight students. Members have to show up for things to get done.
4. “Buy two.” “Okay, I’ll buy ten.”  learned to always have a back-up in case plans A-Y don’t work out, we still have something to fall back on. A robotics is such a subject of complexity, it is evitable to make mistakes in the process. That is exactly why we always keeps extra materials and do extra work. Being prepared increases the chance of succeeding throughout the building and competing seasons.
5. “I don’t know what I’m doing, I never know what I’m doing.” One of the biggest lessons that has carried with the team is the idea of pre-planning and preparation. As the team carried on through the build-season, as rookies, the members relied heavily on the mentors for guidance. Though this proved to have worked, it wasn’t necessarily the most effective way of doing things as members would be lost when the mentor wasn’t there. Rather than depending on one person, pre-planning and documenting what was done at the end of each day would help members to become their own leaders and keep everyone on the same page.
6. “They say brains before brawn but sometimes brains is knowing when to use your brawn.” We learned that it was important for everyone to be able to problem-solve and innovate. At many moments in robotics whether it be at the regional competitions or during build-week, the team was pushed to problem-solve and innovate in a short amount of time. It was thanks to the quick-thinking that we were able to overcome the many crisis that we face-one of which included having our ball launcher destroyed in our very first practice match!
7. “If you have a plan, you’re doing it wrong.” We learned about collaboration as a team when coming up with a robot design. It’s important to have input from various perspectives because one idea may not be the best idea, but meshed with a part of another person’s idea it can be made into something brilliant.
8. “2 Days before competition: I just had an idea!” We learned that once the team came up with a plan, it was important that was stuck to the plan instead of changing our minds over and over. Not only would committing to a plan save more time, but it also helps the team to be more focused on a goal.
9. Co-operation, teamwork – Being able to share with other teams. “Comradery” is what means a difference to us. Sharing information with other competitors actually helps our team shine better. Sometimes, digging up all the treasure in a corner is dangerous, because you won't have companions to watch out for you.
10. ‘Finding the Niche.” Everyone in the team has to contribute to an aspect of robotics, maybe engineering, marketing, or even cleaning up the mess. The point is that you have to make yourself useful at any point, because there won’t be someone telling you what to do all the time.
“If you agree with me, I will blame it on you.” Responsibility
But it still WORKS. Creative thinking
I had a quick way of doing this.  Efficiency/time saving
You aren’t complaining are you? Positive thinking
Last quote before event: Bring a file x3 possibly not necessary.

Student Quotes:
1. “If you fail, try try try and try another hundred times until you get 50% of what you originally planned”.
2. “How many taps does it take to nail in a screw?” “None, you don’t.”
3. “It’s not perfect until you’ve redone it 5 times and changed your minds another 12 times.”

 

Please share this document on your team/school/or community website so that others may gain some insight from your experience this season!