Transportation to Invitationals?

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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by drcubbin » December 22nd, 2018, 4:25 am

emmalasagna wrote:
IvanGe wrote:
drcubbin wrote: Thanks wz! Yes, we are still tossing ideas around. We have all Invys covered except one, then States and who knows! But it is always an honor to compete side by side with Gelinas! Thanks again! ;)
Agreed. What we usually do is add up all the costs and then divide by the number of people we have going. This may vary since we might get some generous donations from our districts STEM program, but I'm pretty sure this is what we did for Rustin. We usually charge over $150 per student if it's an overnight trip.

Pretty much the same thing for our team.
This why I like the scioly.org forums so much. After reading through all of your responses, I realized there must be a way to fix our dilemma so I went back to the drawing board. You were correct, the bus ride does provide an added layer of camaraderie we didn't want to lose, so I did find cheaper buses ($1,000 less!) and then realized that if we did not stay the 2nd night... and well, that solved everything. With three teams going to Cornell, I was actually able to get it below $100/student. Thanks for all of your help, best of luck at your invitationals then beyond, and if you happen to be walking past The Bay Academy's home base at any event, stop by, introduce yourselves and there might even be an extra slice of pizza for you! Dr. C

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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by emmalasagna » December 22nd, 2018, 1:52 pm

drcubbin wrote:
emmalasagna wrote:
IvanGe wrote:
Agreed. What we usually do is add up all the costs and then divide by the number of people we have going. This may vary since we might get some generous donations from our districts STEM program, but I'm pretty sure this is what we did for Rustin. We usually charge over $150 per student if it's an overnight trip.

Pretty much the same thing for our team.
This why I like the scioly.org forums so much. After reading through all of your responses, I realized there must be a way to fix our dilemma so I went back to the drawing board. You were correct, the bus ride does provide an added layer of camaraderie we didn't want to lose, so I did find cheaper buses ($1,000 less!) and then realized that if we did not stay the 2nd night... and well, that solved everything. With three teams going to Cornell, I was actually able to get it below $100/student. Thanks for all of your help, best of luck at your invitationals then beyond, and if you happen to be walking past The Bay Academy's home base at any event, stop by, introduce yourselves and there might even be an extra slice of pizza for you! Dr. C
Nice! Most teams don't stay the second night anyway, so changing that would definitely solve the problem.
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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by nicholasmaurer » December 22nd, 2018, 7:17 pm

EastStroudsburg13 wrote:
kate! wrote:
EastStroudsburg13 wrote: I do not want to get too much into the weeds of this debate as the number of invitationals primarily varies per school, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to attend more invitationals if there is the support behind it. But, out of curiosity, how many invitationals does Solon MS attend yearly? That may be a more parallel comparison to Bay Academy, which is also a B division school.
You can't exactly compare a school from Ohio that won nationals last year to one from New York that got 5th at states.
Sure you can. It requires context, but there's value in the comparison.
I believe Solon MS intends to compete at nine this year, which is pretty typical for them.

I don’t think my intent was to compare our strategy to any other school’s. My point was that I don’t think it’s accurate to say that a certain number of invitationals is automatically too many. Each school needs to find the approach that works for them.
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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by pikachu4919 » December 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm

nicholasmaurer wrote:
EastStroudsburg13 wrote:
kate! wrote: You can't exactly compare a school from Ohio that won nationals last year to one from New York that got 5th at states.
Sure you can. It requires context, but there's value in the comparison.
I believe Solon MS intends to compete at nine this year, which is pretty typical for them.

I don’t think my intent was to compare our strategy to any other school’s. My point was that I don’t think it’s accurate to say that a certain number of invitationals is automatically too many. Each school needs to find the approach that works for them.
Adding to this, there's also the opposite side in which there are a handful of schools that can be really successful within their own states and sometimes even at nationals without attending invitationals at all. Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Indiana either doesn't go to invitationals or one or two if at all and they still continue to dominate at the state tournament in Indiana every year and do a decent job at nationals as well. Not to say that a strategy involving not going to invitationals wouldn't also work for other teams too, but juxtaposing that with a school like Solon that attends 9 invitationals a year just adds to Nick's point about schools needing to find what works best for them.
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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by TheChiScientist » December 23rd, 2018, 5:55 pm

pikachu4919 wrote:
nicholasmaurer wrote:
EastStroudsburg13 wrote: Sure you can. It requires context, but there's value in the comparison.
I believe Solon MS intends to compete at nine this year, which is pretty typical for them.

I don’t think my intent was to compare our strategy to any other school’s. My point was that I don’t think it’s accurate to say that a certain number of invitationals is automatically too many. Each school needs to find the approach that works for them.
Adding to this, there's also the opposite side in which there are a handful of schools that can be really successful within their own states and sometimes even at nationals without attending invitationals at all. Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Indiana either doesn't go to invitationals or one or two if at all and they still continue to dominate at the state tournament in Indiana every year and do a decent job at nationals as well. Not to say that a strategy involving not going to invitationals wouldn't also work for other teams too, but juxtaposing that with a school like Solon that attends 9 invitationals a year just adds to Nick's point about schools needing to find what works best for them.
Man, I'm late to the party... Anyways our school goes to about 6-10 invitationals on average per year and I would argue that it's insanely beneficial (and fun) for our entire team. Although I feel that it helps that we attend 3 of the best invitationals in the Midwest (Palatine, UChicago, and our own FYI) which I would say that it comes back to finding what truly benefits a team. As for transport, our district provides us with school buses to and from invitationals. It helps that our district funds STEM programs decently (and that one of our coaches is a Multi-Millionaire...) but it can also help if there is a taxpayer uprising to pressure your district into giving more funds to your SciOly team. (Basically get a ton of angry parents to harass the district about a lack of funds in STEM) Otherwise best of luck finding a good solution to this problem. :D
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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by drcubbin » December 23rd, 2018, 6:39 pm

TheChiScientist wrote:
pikachu4919 wrote:
nicholasmaurer wrote:
I believe Solon MS intends to compete at nine this year, which is pretty typical for them.

I don’t think my intent was to compare our strategy to any other school’s. My point was that I don’t think it’s accurate to say that a certain number of invitationals is automatically too many. Each school needs to find the approach that works for them.
Adding to this, there's also the opposite side in which there are a handful of schools that can be really successful within their own states and sometimes even at nationals without attending invitationals at all. Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Indiana either doesn't go to invitationals or one or two if at all and they still continue to dominate at the state tournament in Indiana every year and do a decent job at nationals as well. Not to say that a strategy involving not going to invitationals wouldn't also work for other teams too, but juxtaposing that with a school like Solon that attends 9 invitationals a year just adds to Nick's point about schools needing to find what works best for them.
Man, I'm late to the party... Anyways our school goes to about 6-10 invitationals on average per year and I would argue that it's insanely beneficial (and fun) for our entire team. Although I feel that it helps that we attend 3 of the best invitationals in the Midwest (Palatine, UChicago, and our own FYI) which I would say that it comes back to finding what truly benefits a team. As for transport, our district provides us with school buses to and from invitationals. It helps that our district funds STEM programs decently (and that one of our coaches is a Multi-Millionaire...) but it can also help if there is a taxpayer uprising to pressure your district into giving more funds to your SciOly team. (Basically get a ton of angry parents to harass the district about a lack of funds in STEM) Otherwise best of luck finding a good solution to this problem. :D
My thoughts exactly chiscientist! We are scheduled for 5 this year (our most ever), but if we could do 7 or 8, our coaches and our teams would register in a heartbeat. Yes, they are insanely beneficial!! We do get buses for in-state one-day invys, but it is the out-of-state ones that drain us. And yes, we have a few local councilperson's office close to our school, so I will pay them a visit - make them an offer they can't refuse, so to speak 8-)

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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by DrDaveV » December 24th, 2018, 1:36 pm

I will add to discussion by saying, as coach at the first meeting of the year I said we planned to go to two invites this there (this is only the second year we are competing) when I said we would need to run fundraisers to cover bus and hotel costs most parents just said they would rather pay an activity fee than do fundraisers. As a parent, I agree, why should I but $100 worth of fruit or candy and the team only get 20-30%.

We ended up asking for a voluntary $150 fee for the first child and $50 for each additional. That came out to just enough for school buses (not fancy coaches) to two invites (one overnoght), a hotel, and a bus to regionals.

I would love to go to more regionals but there are a very limited number that are close to us. Transportation and hotel bills run up quickly. Our regional is ealry February each year so we are limied by schedules. Actually the closest invite to us is Cornell in Ithaca about 30 minutes away, but it is after the Regional that Ithaca Hgh School is in. Go figure? We could go to a few nearby invite after regionals but if we don't make it to states students interest would drop very quickly. We also have a lot of conflicts with other school events as a small school (<300 students) students are involved in many things and are overextended as it is.

If the schedule worked out and cost wasn't a factore I would love to bring the team to a invite about every two weeks.

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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by drcubbin » December 24th, 2018, 1:56 pm

DrDaveV wrote:I will add to discussion by saying, as coach at the first meeting of the year I said we planned to go to two invites this there (this is only the second year we are competing) when I said we would need to run fundraisers to cover bus and hotel costs most parents just said they would rather pay an activity fee than do fundraisers. As a parent, I agree, why should I but $100 worth of fruit or candy and the team only get 20-30%.

We ended up asking for a voluntary $150 fee for the first child and $50 for each additional. That came out to just enough for school buses (not fancy coaches) to two invites (one overnoght), a hotel, and a bus to regionals.

I would love to go to more regionals but there are a very limited number that are close to us. Transportation and hotel bills run up quickly. Our regional is ealry February each year so we are limied by schedules. Actually the closest invite to us is Cornell in Ithaca about 30 minutes away, but it is after the Regional that Ithaca Hgh School is in. Go figure? We could go to a few nearby invite after regionals but if we don't make it to states students interest would drop very quickly. We also have a lot of conflicts with other school events as a small school (<300 students) students are involved in many things and are overextended as it is.

If the schedule worked out and cost wasn't a factore I would love to bring the team to a invite about every two weeks.
I feel your pain DrDaveV! The more (invys) the merrier! As far as going to Invys after your Regionals... If States don't come and interest drops off, I would take a team of 6th and 7th graders to a local Invy, as they know there will be a place on the teams for them next year. Best of luck this year and hopefully we'll see you at Cornell!

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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by Unome » December 24th, 2018, 10:14 pm

TheChiScientist wrote:we attend 3 of the best invitationals in the Midwest (Palatine, UChicago, and our own FYI)
That's a little generous. At the very least, you'd have to say that Ohio isn't in the Midwest, and there's still UMich and other big MI invites, plus Boyceville, etc.
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Re: Transportation to Invitationals?

Post by pikachu4919 » December 25th, 2018, 10:10 am

drcubbin wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:
pikachu4919 wrote:
Adding to this, there's also the opposite side in which there are a handful of schools that can be really successful within their own states and sometimes even at nationals without attending invitationals at all. Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Indiana either doesn't go to invitationals or one or two if at all and they still continue to dominate at the state tournament in Indiana every year and do a decent job at nationals as well. Not to say that a strategy involving not going to invitationals wouldn't also work for other teams too, but juxtaposing that with a school like Solon that attends 9 invitationals a year just adds to Nick's point about schools needing to find what works best for them.
Man, I'm late to the party... Anyways our school goes to about 6-10 invitationals on average per year and I would argue that it's insanely beneficial (and fun) for our entire team. Although I feel that it helps that we attend 3 of the best invitationals in the Midwest (Palatine, UChicago, and our own FYI) which I would say that it comes back to finding what truly benefits a team. As for transport, our district provides us with school buses to and from invitationals. It helps that our district funds STEM programs decently (and that one of our coaches is a Multi-Millionaire...) but it can also help if there is a taxpayer uprising to pressure your district into giving more funds to your SciOly team. (Basically get a ton of angry parents to harass the district about a lack of funds in STEM) Otherwise best of luck finding a good solution to this problem. :D
My thoughts exactly chiscientist! We are scheduled for 5 this year (our most ever), but if we could do 7 or 8, our coaches and our teams would register in a heartbeat. Yes, they are insanely beneficial!! We do get buses for in-state one-day invys, but it is the out-of-state ones that drain us. And yes, we have a few local councilperson's office close to our school, so I will pay them a visit - make them an offer they can't refuse, so to speak 8-)
I never said that going to invitationals wasn't beneficial. I'm just saying that it's not impossible to be successful without them, and that it's up to the team to decide for themselves how many they want to go to based on their circumstances. Running a team already costs quite a bit, especially with the costs of making builds among other things, so if they don't necessarily have the spare funds for registration fees and travel to invitationals, then I'm just saying that it's possible to still be successful without going to them.

Trust me, I know what it's like - even though I grew up in arguably one of the wealthiest districts in Indiana, we didn't have enough team funds to both finish our builds and expand from going to two (not even necessarily super high quality) invitationals to going to three (including one good one, which for us was Wright State/Centerville) until my senior year of high school, and even then, sometimes, builders would have to pay for their own supplies out of their own pockets and get reimbursed if we have enough to give. We can get regular school buses for all our competitions leading up to State, but when we finally broke our drought and went to nationals my senior year, we had to pay to have a nicer bus to the tournament (it was a 10-hr road trip to the farthest west point in Wisconsin - of course we're not riding a normal school bus to that, it would be super uncomfortable) out of our own pockets - we got absolutely no funding from our school on that, and the funding we did get from other sponsors went towards refining our builds and investing in resources for future years' worth of events such as a bulk supply of wood for people to try their hand at balsa events and other general supplies, textbooks, and field guides. You could say that's a matter of priorities, and you're right - it truly is. There's nothing wrong with using team funds to instead make your builds better or to invest in more shared team resources instead of to go to more competitions, because if you can't build a functional build, then it's not necessarily going to be of much help when/where it really matters. I'm sure things have picked up a lot at Carmel since then due to our recent successes, but back then throughout my time there, it would sometimes be quite bleak.

I agree that invitationals are "insanely beneficial." I don't doubt that at all. Your posts are all about how you have so much money and your district being really nice to you, which is why you can attend so many invitationals, but not every school district is blessed with those same conditions. I can imagine there will be people reading this thread and feeling quite jealous over your privileges. My message is that for the teams who may not have as many funds or resources to attend as many invitationals, they can still be successful without additional invitationals or perhaps without them at all.
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