A quick update for you from our shareholders meeting. This is a group of mentors, volunteers and parents that are helping to improve the Pacific Northwest Regional. We met just before Halloween and had a fantastic discussion about the future of our competition.
The first issue we had to discuss was regarding the number of teams that can participate. Due to the nature and organization of our Regional competition, we completely max out the venue with 48 teams. Last year we had a limited trial of a new class, Navigator, which fits between the Scout and Ranger classes. It was a success and we had many mentors requesting access for the next year. As such, we are limiting the number of teams allowed into each class to 16. This is a decrease in number of teams for both Ranger and Scout and I expect registration to fill very quickly (Should open December 12th, I'll keep you posted). Secondly, since we are such a popular competition, we have many more teams that want to participate than possible. We have typically allowed each organization to bring two teams per class. However, last year there were many organizations that were turned away entirely and were not able to compete. If our Regional gets 11 or more organizations to participate we are eligible to send our first and second place Ranger winners to the International competition. We had nine organizations last year but had to turn away a few because our space was full.... As such, it was decided that this year each organization will only be allowed one team per class. We encourage all organizations to have an internal runoff with their teams and send the best to our Regional. We may be available to help with your runoff, please let us know if you will be having one.
We also discussed one of the major issues that faces new mentors, practice sessions. We decided that we will hold a Troubleshooting Workshop on March 14th. We will have a morning (10 teams) and afternoon (10 teams) session in our large salt water test tank and have our smaller above ground pool available. We will have tools and be available for advice and to answer questions, however all work will be completed by students. We encourage teams that participate to help eachother and share their knowledge and experiences.
And finally, every year we have teams that drop out of the competition last minute. Of course anything can happen and we fully understand when circumstances occur that would keep a vehicle from getting in the water. However these drop outs cause many logistical issues for the competition organizers and volunteers. We would like to encourage mentors to remind their students that there are quite a lot of points that can be earned without the vehicle ever getting wet. Half of the total points for the competition come from the Engineering Presentation and Poster. It is very educational for a team to present their vehicle, even if it is unable to participate in the missions. There are also many aspects of the mission where points can be scored even if the maneuverability of the vehicle is compromised. Basically, by offering these simple points we are trying to encourage students to engage with the other teams, volunteers and judges to learn how they can better compete next year. If your team is having difficulties early, please let me know as soon as possible so that a team on the wait list can be offered your place. Please encourage your students to attend the competition as spectators. If something catastropic happens with your vehicle just before competition, please let me know as soon as possible and please come with your team and your ROV in whatever stage it may be in. Encourage your students to participate as much as they can with what they have.
16 teams per class
1 team per organization per class
March 14th, Troubleshooting Workshop
Bring your team to competition, even if your ROV explodes the night before.