In order to provide a breadth of experience while achieving the team’s goals, MakeShift is structured like a small business and includes both technical and business departments (sub-teams). During pre-season, every student team member participates in the Safety, Outreach, Awards, Marketing, and Fundraising sub-teams. Pre-season is the time when MakeShift strives to share the message of FIRST and achieve it’s more significant goals in the areas of outreach. While the motto during build season is “live within your means”, time outside of build season is spent striving to “expand our resources” regarding knowledge, relationships, and finances.
During the intense six-week build season MakeShift re-configures itself into an agile entity focused on a singular goal: build a competitive robot. Students and mentors are organised into three sub-teams: Mechanical, Controls, and Strategy. By dividing into specific groups, students can use the skills they developed to their advantage during pre-season skills to solve the problems posed by the challenges of this year’s game. These sub-teams communicate regularly and work to a common master project schedule.
Students who take active and productive roles on the team are rewarded with responsibilities such as team or sub-team leadership.
Team Leads: MakeShift has one or two students who are the team’s overall Student Team Leads. These students work with mentors to run most team meetings, organise events, and coordinate communications between the individual sub-teams, adults, and the school administration.
Sub-Team Leads: Each of the sub-teams has one student sub-team lead who manages the students within that sub-team. They recruit and train new members, organise and hold safety training sessions, keep their sub-team members on track during build season, and communicate the sub-team status and needs to the Team Leads and Mentors.