Need help organizing your team in the preseason? Having trouble teaching team members the necessary skills for a successful build season?
Consider the training method adopted by The Girls of Steel this preseason.
The Girls of Steel rolled out a 3-3-3 training system.
We split out team up into three technical teams: mechanical, programming, and electronics based on each girl’s interests.
Each team completes four levels of training in one preseason:
Level zero: learn safety techniques and basics of the discipline. All girls must attend level zero for each team.
Level one: introductory to team’s simple tasks.
Level two: expands on skills and increases in difficulty.
Level three: mastery in the team’s skills.
At the end of each level, a test is administered to guarantee competency and understanding.
Here is an overview of the levels The Girls of Steel administered this year:
• know shop safety rules, be able to name bandsaw, wet saw, drill press, sander, grinder, shear, brake, mill, and lathe.
• Name and use crescent wrench, adjustable wrench, socket wrench, allen wrench, nut driver, Phillips head screw driver, flat head screwdriver (and know where they get put away!)
• Name and use channel-locks, vice-grips, lineman’s pliers, needle nose pliers, clamps
• Name and use ball peen hammer, dead blow mallet, center punch, transfer punch
• Name and use socket cap screws, washer, nut, nylock nut, set screw, locktite, identify screw sizes (4-40, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32, ¼-20)
• Read a part drawing
• Chains: breaking, using master link, using half links.
• Name and use tape measure, ruler, square, protractor, caliper
• Use cordless drill, hacksaw, dremmel cut off tool, clamp
• Andymark gearbox assembly
• Tell difference between aluminum, steel, and hardened steel
• Use drill press, band saw, horizontal band saw, wet saw, replace fluid on wet saw
• Cleaning up cuts with deburring tool, file, sander
• Layout and fab flat part from drawing using drill press, band saw, and wet saw.
• Hole sizes for standard screw sizes (clearance and tap), tapping
• Riveting (hole size, material thickness, hand riveter, pneumatic riveter)
• Arbor press: press bearings and bushings, broaching
• Drilling on mill: install chuck, vice parallels, use edge finder, DRO, drill point/starter drill), counter sink, reamer
• Test: Drill precision hole pattern in flat part
• Basic Milling: install collets, facing, slots, grooves, speeds and feeds for aluminum
• Basic Lathe: cut plastic spacers, cut retaining ring grooves, with chuck, drilling, speeds for aluminum and steel
• Test: cut plastic spacers to length, cut slip-ring grooves given a drawing, drill a hole. Make a piece that has hole, step, slot, precision length, from bar stock, from provided drawings.
• Understand what a program is, compiling, and Java virtual machine
• Understand how to use existing FIRST system (install NetBeans, check out SVN repo, build code, download to robot, basic robot operation)
• Editor/command line programming tools
• basic program flow
• variables, if/then, loops, basic io (System.out.println, input using Scanner)
• Arrays, methods, file IO
• classes and inheritance
• Name and describe function of common electronic components (cRio, power distribution board, digital sidecar, Jaguar, Spike, battery, encoder, motors (CIM, AndyMark, window motor, etc.), limit switches, light
• Name and use wire cutters, needle nose pliers, magic screwdriver
• Battery charging, battery care, and battery beak usage
• Read and understand FIRST provided schematic
• Wire gauges, know rules for gauge and color usage
• Electronics board layout guidelines, wire harness layout
• Soldering basics (tin leads, limit switch terminals)
• Crimping big terminals, power cable construction, heat shrink tubing, heat shrink labels, strain relief
• Crimping small terminals, limit switch and PWM cable construction, encoder cable construction, pneumatic valve cable construction.
• Component layout in solidworks, board design, mechanical construction.
• Wire harness for moving parts.
• Installing encoders
• Name and describe function of pneumatics parts (compressor, pressure control valve, pressure control switch, tanks, valves, pressure gauges, fittings, pistons)
• Layout FIRST legal pneumatics system
What are the perks of a training system?
All of the members of your team are garunteed have a complete knowledge of their technical team and a basic knowledge of all other technical teams.
New members will have a well-rounded sense of requirements.
This is a quantifiable way to track the team’s progress
We made “progress posters” to encourage healthy competition.
Each time a girl passes a level, she gets a star on the progress poster.
~Laurel, The Girls of Steel, FIRST Team #3504