[EMS Discuss] Punkin' Chunkin' Questions?

Thu Nov 14 09:46:43 PST 2013

This is good stuff.  I'm not sure what the answer is.  We can try to do
larger group projects as a whole group but those tend to have a problem
where there is no set deadline and the project can get stale.  The near
space balloon comes to mind.  The competition creates a real solid deadline
that must be met so work has to get done.  I agree though that it might be
a more overall positive experience if everyone could openly work together
and help each other in a friendly way.

Perhaps for future competitions we can require some level of openness or
something.  Like maybe you can keep your design secret until 2 weeks before
the contest or something like that.  This way most teams will be committed
to a design and they won't have enough time to really change what they are
doing based on other teams designs.  That way there is less worry about the
secrecy aspect and teams might be able to help each other out.

Another idea would be to hold smaller scale contests at EMS where teams
must build their contest entries at the shop during designated times.  For
example we could have a weekend "hackathon" where you have to build some
contraption from Friday - Sunday and you must do it at EMS.  That way the
shop is bustling and there's no way to keep it a secret.  But the contest
is so fast paced that people won't have time to be concerned with what
others are doing.  Not sure if that would work but it's an idea at least.

I do intend to share information about each team's entry on the EMS blog
once the competition is over assuming the teams work with me on it.  I'm
happy to publish that information sooner if any teams are willing to give
up some parts of their design plans and open up to the others.  I think
progress posts would be awesome.

On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM, Benjamin Hallert <EMAIL HIDDEN> wrote:

> I've been thinking about something lately, I thought I'd give it a shot of
> putting it down on paper here. In the past we've had group projects that
> really fostered cooperation and teamwork and that's some of the stuff I
> like the most about being part of the maker space. While I really like the
> idea of having a friendly competition, the air of absolute secrecy that has
> surrounded this contest has felt a little deflationary. I understand the
> reasoning behind it (giving up a competitive advantage is alien to us) but
> I still feel like there's something missing.
> I'm guilty of this too, don't get me wrong. I'm not sending out a bunch of
> pictures of the project that I'm working on either, and I suppose it's
> probably not reasonable to expect everyone else to change how they're
> approaching this either. I guess I'm just saying that I miss working on
> projects collaboratively without seeing fellow EMS members as "the enemy".
> Is there any sort of halfway point between friendly competition and
> teamwork on a group widescale? I don't know, so I guess I'm throwing it out
> to the group for consideration for the future.
> For example, I absolutely know that the members of team LEO would be able
> to offer insight into the launcher team kerbalnauts is working on. It's a
> bunch of really smart, great problem solvers whom I enjoy speaking with and
> working with. I like to imagine that I might be able to assist in someway
> to someone else too, of course, but whatevs.
> I'm not trying to advocate for a change to future contests or this. I
> guess I'm just trying to capture some thoughts I've been having in text to
> see if I'm alone in this or if it has any value to anyone else.
> That said, I'm really looking forward to the big event!  Hopefully we can
> put on a fun show for our families and maybe even drive some membership
> expansion. Are we reaching out to any local media?
> - Ben
> On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM, Rick Osgood <EMAIL HIDDEN>wrote:
>> Any one running into any problems?  Any more questions about the contest
>> to help you design your creation?  I know the whole thing is kind of vague
>> but that's mostly because this is the first time we've done it and we don't
>> really know exactly what rules we need or want.  Let me know!
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