[EMS Discuss] Punkin' Chunkin' Questions?

Rick Osgood EMAIL HIDDEN
Thu Nov 14 10:38:11 PST 2013


I will note that it's interesting to see how it played out since there was
no rule about having to keep things secret or having to disclose
information.  I suppose the secrecy aspect is a natural response because as
Ben said, you feel like you might lose a competitive advantage by allowing
the other teams to try and one up your design.

You know, for a contest like this, I imagine that most teams couldn't look
at a completed chunker and really know how far it will launch a pumpkin
without actually testing it.  So you can always leave those numbers a
secret, which might make the competition day more fun.  You can still work
together on the design but if you don't know how well the other team's
design actually works then you won't know whether or not you need to worry
about it.


On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM, Bob Miller <EMAIL HIDDEN> wrote:

> I hear you, Ben.  The whole secrecy thing is largely my fault, I
> think.  I thought it would make the contest more fun to be in "stealth
> mode" and let people guess what Team LEO was up to.  But we're also
> unable to tap into the rest of the group's expertise, and it's hurting
> us.  And the secrecy is not turning out to be as much fun as I
> expected.
>
> I'd favor some kind of disclosure rules for next year, too.  I'd be
> okay with mutual disclosure right now, too, but I'd have to check with
> my teammates first.
>
>
> On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Rick Osgood <EMAIL HIDDEN>
> wrote:
> > 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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>
>
>
> --
> Bob Miller                              K<bob>
>                                         EMAIL HIDDEN
>
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