About QCElite Team 648 – The Flaming Squirrels

Team Handbook


QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team #648
Student and Mentor Handbook
Mission Statement 3
Partnership and Goals 3
Team History 4
Team Awards 4
Team Organization 5
Board of Directors 5
Student Leaders 5
Booster Club 5
QC Alliance 5
Funding and Financial Outline 6
Community Outreach Involvement 6
Preparing our Students for the Future 7
Parent/Guardian Involvement 8
Booster Club Meetings 8
Mentor Involvement 9
Mentor’s Responsibilities 9
Student Involvement 10
Student Expectations 10
Point System 11
Team Meetings 12
Offseason Schedule 12
Build and Competition Season Schedule 12
Meeting Cancellation 12
Example of Points 12
Grade Requirement 13
Emergency Procedures 13
Absence Reporting Procedure Policy 14
Computer, Electronics, and Equipment Policy 15
Student / Mentor Discipline Tree 16
Document Review 16
Document Communication 16
Student Obligation Form 17
Student and Mentor Code of Conduct 18
Mission Statement
QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team 648’s mission is to provide an opportunity for Quad City students to work side by side with local volunteer mentors to discover first-hand that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) can be challenging, exciting and fun and to inspire these young men and women to be future engineers or scientists.
QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team 648 is dedicated to teaching our students the values of working together as a team, working hard, and being gracious and professional. We strive to instill these key values so that our students will have the necessary tools to succeed in whatever career they choose to pursue.
Partnership and Goals
Locally, QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team #648 has been competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition since 2001. Team #648 is comprised of students, parents, and mentors from Rock Island, Moline, Bettendorf, Davenport, Homeschools, and other surrounding Community School Districts. The purpose of Team #648 is:
1. to inspire curiosity and create interest in science and technology among high school students;
2. to provide an opportunity for local engineers, teachers, and other professionals to demonstrate teamwork, creativity, and talent in an innovative way that promotes a new kind of “hero” for high school students; and
3. to bring business and education together in a way that benefits the future global society.
During the school year, Team #648 will try to compete in two FIRST Robotics events, typically regional events. The events will be determined by the team before the regional event registration deadline.
– Corporate sponsors must be identified to provide engineering talent, materials, manufacturing, as well as funds for the robot construction, registration fees, travel expenses, shipping costs, and construction site.
– High school students and mentors must be identified, – to provide the time, energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to build the robot.
– Parents must be identified to assist in fundraising efforts and chaperone students at the competitions.
Investing in a Robotics Competition is investing in the future of the community by preparing a future talent pool of workforce leaders capable of integrating engineering, science, and technology into local and global economies.
Team History
Background: FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to interest and inspire students in mathematics, science, and technology. Through its Robotics Competition, FIRST conducts a nationwide engineering competition for high school teams to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The competition shows students that technological fields hold many career opportunities and that the basic concepts of science, math, engineering, and invention are exciting and interesting. Furthermore, the competition redefines winning. Teams are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism, maturity, and ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.
QC Elite Team #648 was originally developed from a teacher’s concept to inspire young men and women to achieve higher science and math skills. With the help of local engineers, sponsors, parents, and volunteers, they believe, as we do, that science and technology can enrich the lives of all and that the young people hold the future of science, technology, and engineering in their hands.
Team Awards
2001 – Midwest Regional –Rookie All-Star
2002 – St Louis Regional – General Motors Industrial Design Award
2004 – Midwest Regional – Regional Finalist
Championships – Quarter Finals of Archimedes Division
2005 – St Louis Regional – Regional Finalist; Daimler/Chrysler Team Spirit Award
Midwest Regional – Xerox Creativity Award
2006 – Midwest Regional – Johnson & Johnson Sportsmanship Award
2007 – Midwest Regional – Regional Finalist; Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control
Award; Woodie Flowers Award (Ed Wegshield)
Championships – Curie Division
2008 – Midwest Regional – Xerox Creativity Award
2009 – Midwest Regional – Judge’s Award
Minnesota North Star Regional – Delphi Driving Tomorrow’s Technology Award
2010 – Championships – Galileo Division
2017 – St. Louis Regional – Regional Finalist
Championships – Archimedes Division
2018 – Central Illinois Regional – Regional Finalist
Buckeye Regional – Imagery Award
Team Organization
Board of Directors
QC Elite is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization. The team is also incorporated. As such, the team is governed by a board of directors. The responsibilities of the board are not documented in this handbook. Current board members are Jon Burgstrum, Kent Lindeen, and Mike LeGate.
Student Leaders
Student Leadership positions are determined based on team needs and student skill sets for the upcoming season. Students will be interviewed for each position, recommended by the mentors, and selected by their peers.
Booster Club
Jon Burgstrum: jburgstrum@mchsi.com or (563) 340 – 5618
Jill Crouse: jmcrouse61265@gmail.com or (563) 508 – 1086
Phil Perdan: philperdan@gmail.com or (574) 514 – 3487
Curt Hammer: hammercurtis@qcelite.com or (515) 205 – 0465
Julie Crouse: crousefamily2001@gmail.com or (563) 940 – 8923
*Booster Elections are held in September.
QC Alliance
QC Elite has extended our non-profit status to many FIRST teams which meet at the Arconic Learning Center. Coaches and mentors from these teams meet monthly to discuss team strategies, apply for larger grants, provide teaching opportunities to mentors, and review any building related issues.
Funding and Financial Outline
A good deal of money is needed to participate in FIRST Robotics Competitions. Our anticipated 2018-2019 budget is $46,000. The team is fortunate to have excellent sponsors; however students, mentors, and parents share in the responsibility of raising money to travel and participate in the competitions.
In the school year, students, mentors, and parents participate in these fundraising events:
● Completing grant requests
● Requesting Corporate and Private Donations
● Birdies for Charity event
Community Outreach Involvement
The QC Elite Team must stay active in the local community to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and FIRST and to share with the community the generosity of our sponsors. Listed below are just a few ways the students and parents have contributed within the region.
● Adopt-A-Road Cleanup Program
● FIRST Kickoff Events
● Company tours and demonstrations
● Off-season STEAM activities
Preparing our Students for the Future
● Scholarships
Each graduating senior will receive $100 per full year of team membership as a college scholarship. This reward will not happen if fundraising goals are not met.
Through the FIRST scholarship portal, over $50 million (over 200 scholarship providers) is available to students who participate in FIRST activities. www.usfirst.org/Scholarships/
● Experience
Many corporations across the nation are participating in FIRST and want to hire FIRST students. Being on a FIRST team will expose students to these corporations and help teach the skills that these companies desire.
Parent/Guardian Involvement
The student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) are encouraged to get involved with the team’s booster organization in order to raise the necessary funds for the team to travel to the competitions and to meet the team’s fundraising obligations.
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to:
● Assist in making fundraising decisions
● Assist in making travel plans, including accommodation plans
● Assist in student recruitment
● Assist in fundraising events
● Participate in community outreach events
● Serving in Booster Board positions
● Make sure their student’s grades meet and/or exceed team requirements
In addition to the items above, we expect parent(s)/guardians to:
● Act in a graciously professional manner
● Abide by all state/federal laws
● Abide by school, FIRST, and QC Elite rules and regulations
Booster Club Meetings
The Booster club will meet the third Thursday of each month. Items to be discussed will be fundraising ideas, parental involvement, transportation, and team accommodations. Financial requirements will also be discussed as needed.
Mentor Involvement
QC Elite adult mentors are encouraged to assist the team. The efforts of these mentors must be student-focused and within the guidelines of FIRST Robotics. Adult volunteers can act as coaches and mentors by working with the students after work hours and on weekends.
Students who graduate from the team and continue as mentors will be classified as “junior mentor” for the first two years outside of high school. During this time, these junior mentors will be paired with a veteran mentor to make sure all activities remain student-focused and not an extension of their high school experience.
“Other” adult mentors’ travel costs are funded on a case-by-case basis. They may get their travel expenses paid fully or partially by the team, depending on the involvement and level of fundraising
Mentor agreement to students: Mentors will be engaged in team activities and will ask questions early but not dictate robot decisions.
Mentor’s Responsibilities
Mentors are expected to:
● Assist in making fundraising decisions
● Assist in fundraising events
● Participate in community outreach events
● Hold other mentors accountable to the code of conduct
● Assist in Student Recruitment
● Verify all Liability and Consent Forms are complete
● Provide an Initial Season Kickoff for students and parents
● Monitor and delegate student tasks
● Implement and enforce Code of Conduct and Eligibility standards
● Provide Safety Training
● Uphold FIRST guidelines
● Work to build stronger student leadership and student led activities
● Encourage and guide students
Student Involvement
There are many students who return each year. Students are involved in various sub-teams such as: Build, Communications, and Technology.
Meeting with sponsors
Social media
3D printing
Student Expectations
● Meet grade requirements (see below for more information)
● Act in a safe manner and abide by all Safety guidelines (wear safety glasses, close toed shoes, etc.)
● Participate in team discussions and brainstorming
● Contribute to items meaningful to the team in competition while at team meetings
● Meet the point system requirements for travel for competition
● Recruit new students
● Meet attendance requirements
● Act in a gracious and professional manner
● Minimize conversations and distractions not productive to the development of the team
● Assist other team members maintain a focus on the goals and aspirations of the team
● Abide by all state/federal laws
● Abide by school, FIRST, and QC Elite rules and regulations
Point System
In order to promote a fair system for travel eligibility, QC Elite will be using a point-based system. The system is designed to encourage students to remain focused and engaged throughout the year. Students will need to attain 600 points for new and 800 points for returning members* and to achieve grade requirements in order to be considered travel eligible. A minimum of 1/2 of the points earned (300 for new and 400 for returning members) must be earned explicitly during the Build Competition Season through participation in Build Competition Season Task Work.
*The team reserves the right to modify requirements based on individual student circumstances. Please let us know of any complications as we will work with you.
Build competition season task work
1hr = 5 pts
$1 = 1pt
Community service and outreach events
1 event = 25 pts
New student/sponsor bonus
1 new = 25 pts
Build season tasks and points will be established based on complexity and time to complete. One hour of focused work = 5pts.
Task: Build a bracket to mount a camera to the robot.
Expected time needed: 2hrs Points = 10pts
Task: Presentation for Chairman’s award
Expected time needed: 40hrs Points = 200pts
From a tracking standpoint, the students and mentors must sign in and out and indicate the task/activity they are performing during the daily meeting.
● Mentors and Student Leaders award the points based on team member contributions.
● Funding contribution for points is set at a rate where $5.00 of funding generates the same as one hour of project work.
● Community service activities typically take 2-3 hours but are very important to reinforce the FIRST Robotics brand and maintain awareness of potential sponsors. For this reason, community service points are awarded at a higher rate than straight project work.
● Outreach is about sustainability of the team. Every year we need replace about 25% of the team due to attrition (graduations) just to sustain. If the team wants to grow, we need to recruit at an even higher rate. Additionally, since funding has been a recurring challenge for the team, we need to encourage activities that attract and garner new sponsors.
In summary, here is a simple formula for how a member can contribute to the team:
1 outreach = 1 new member/sponsor = $25 funding = 5 hours project work
Team Meetings
Offseason Schedule:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm.
During the meetings, students will prepare for outreach, update the robot for off-season events, and have the opportunity to learn/refine new CAD skills, shop skills, use of 3D printing, and how to program.
Build and Competition Season Schedule:
The team will meet nightly Monday through Thursday from 5:30pm – 9:00pm.
Students are expected to attend two nights a week for 3 hours each time.
The team will meet every Saturday during the 6-week build season. We ask students to participate in one of two pre-scheduled shifts.
● Morning shift: 8am – 2pm
● Evening shift: 2pm – 8pm
In December, a survey needs to be completed by all students and mentors. In an effort to balance the team’s participation, students and mentors will be asked to specify availability and preference. A calendar will be shared by December 15th. Students and mentors who have not completed the survey will be randomly assigned. The attendance policy will be in effect for this calendar.
Students and mentors may contribute outside of their designated times to accumulate additional points, but are not subject to the attendance policy. Additional opportunities will be made available throughout the build season (i.e. Martin Luther King holiday or “Black Fridays”).
Meeting Cancellation
The team will make every effort possible to communicate cancellations of team meetings at least two days in advance through the team preferred communication system.
Meetings canceled due to weather will be communicated through email and SMS.
Example of Points
A typical student would participate in at least 4 outreach events, help the team raise $300, attract at least 1 new student, contribute 72hrs of focused work during the build season, and contribute 18hrs of focused work between build and competition.
Typical Student = 100 (outreach) +300 (funds) +25 (new student) + 450 (work) = 875
Grade Requirement
According to the student contract, each student must maintain a “C” or above in EACH of their courses in order for that student to be eligible for team travel. Students will complete and submit their 6-week grade report cards in order to verify their grade status before they are allowed to travel. Students will not travel with the team if they do not complete these grade reports. Grades are a priority; this grade requirement is strict and is not trivial. Students should put their grades before any team needs. There are no exclusions or exceptions to the requirement. Parents are accountable for their children’s grades.
Emergency Procedures
1. Attend to injured
2. Dial 911 if determined to be serious
3. A present mentor will contact the injured person’s emergency contact number from list which is stored in an envelope in the First Aid Kit just inside the door of the build room. Call injured person’s alternative number if emergency contact is unavailable. This list will be updated before December 15th using the information from this form.
Absence Reporting Procedure Policy
Attendance requirements begin on the “kick-off” date which is to be determined every year.
If you are going to be absent, please adhere to the following guidelines:
Excused absences
1. School-sponsored curricular activities
2. College visits
3. Family deaths
4. Serious illness of you or your immediate family
5. Family events (i.e. weddings, births, family vacations, etc.)
Absence reporting procedure
1. Contact Group Me and/or put on the Calendar in the team meeting room
2. State your name
3. State your work group (sub-team)
4. State your reason for absence
5. State duration of absence (how many days)
Absence dispute resolution procedure
1. Booster Club President:
Jill Crouse at jmcrouse61265@gmail.com or (563) 508-1086
2. State your name
3. State the disputed dates
4. State reason for dispute
5. The dispute will be reviewed and you will be contacted by the team leader on outcome of review
1. You must give advanced notice of your absence or it will be counted as unexcused.
2. You must maintain a level of 75% attendance to travel with team
3. If you are a non-traveling team member, your attendance is optional
Computer, Electronics, and Equipment Policy
All QC Elite equipment, computers, and related electronics are for the use of team business only and are not to be used for any other purpose.
Students and mentors may use the equipment for personal projects with the approval from a member of the board of directors. Those using the equipment are responsible for all expenses incurred during use. Examples are filament for the 3D printers, damaged CNC router bits due to gross negligence, and purchase of materials such as aluminum.
Filament charges will be based on estimates from Simplify3D. Additional charges may be applied for consumption of materials on failed prints.
● No downloading of materials unless related to team business
● No game playing unless related to team business
● No instant messaging unless related to team business
● No computers, team or personal, are to be in operation during meetings, training sessions, or brainstorming sessions unless related to the business at hand
● No radios, cassette, CD, MP3, or other types of electronics are to be in operation during meetings, training sessions, or brainstorming sessions unless related to the business at hand
● Equipment available to the team such as the CNC, drill presses, saws, and 3D Printers are purchased and owned by the team, it is expected that team members treat this equipment better than if it were their own including safe practices to avoid injury.
● No machining or work in the Build room is allowed without two (2) mentors present.
● To promote a safe and useful environment all work areas shall be cleaned up before the students leave for the day.
The QC Elite Web Site is to be used for team business only.
Any violations to above policy may result in loss of privileges and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the team.
Student / Mentor Discipline Tree
During Normal Team meetings:
1st Offense Verbal warning
2nd Offense Written warning
3rd Offense Written Behavioral Contract
4th Offense Dismissal from the team
Outreach or Regional Events:
In an event where immediate discipline beyond a verbal warning is necessary at a regional or outreach event, students may be removed from key positions within the team, quarantined to the hotel, and/or required to call their parents or guardians to be picked up. We are representatives of the team and our sponsors and need to act accordingly.
QC Elite reserves the right to amend the discipline tree according to the severity of the offense.
Document Review
The QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team #648 Handbook will be reviewed in early August on an annual basis before the school year begins. The document owner is the Communications Lead, and the owner will schedule the yearly handbook review meeting with the Team Leads, Mentors, and Coaches.
Document Communication
The handbook information will be communicated to the representatives and students of QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team #648 on a yearly basis. Students, Mentors, and Parents will need to submit a signed form every year to ensure understanding of the handbook.
Student Obligation Form
By signing below, I acknowledge that I have read the QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team #648 Handbook describing the financial obligations, code of conduct, and eligibility standards required to be a team member or traveling team member. I understand that participating in the program requires attendance of 75% of the construction time and that I must adhere to QC Elite’s code of conduct and eligibility standards and meet the financial obligations for the level of participation of my choice. Excusals will be granted for school functions and other activities deemed necessary by the team mentors. I am aware that the meetings are generally scheduled after school hours, three nights a week, and Saturdays for the six plus weeks of construction. A build schedule will be developed during team meetings in December. I also understand that students are responsible for arranging for their own transportation to and from the build facility.
Student Name
______________________________________ __________________________
Student Signature Date
Parent/Guardian Name
______________________________________ __________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature Date
Student and Mentor Code of Conduct
I understand that I am a representative of QC Elite FIRST Robotics Team #648, FIRST, and my high school. My conduct is my responsibility. I will abide by all State/Federal laws, rules, and regulations set forth by QC Elite, FIRST, and my school. I will act in a graciously professional manner at all times. I understand that if I do not maintain the expectations of the code of conduct then I may be disciplined by the team, even to the extent of dismissal from the team.
The following actions are viewed as unacceptable behaviors:
● Use of profanity
● Sexual harassment
● Underage drinking or illegal drug use
● Excessive unexcused absences
● Disrespect of authority and other team members
● Curfew violations
● Dishonoring FIRST, QC Elite, other teams, or schools
I, _____________________________, understand, agree, and shall abide by the team’s Code of Conduct. I understand that, if I do not, then I may be disciplined by the team, even to the extent of dismissal from the team.
I, __________________________________, understand, that my student may be disciplined or dismissed from the team for violation of the Code of Conduct policy or any other action the team deems inappropriate and hereby agree that I will support the team’s decision.
Emergency Contact Information:
● Primary Contact
o Name: _________________________________________________
o Phone Number: __________________________________________
● Secondary Contact
o Name: _________________________________________________
o Phone Number: __________________________________________