Team Recruitment

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Rohaigirl
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Team Recruitment

Post by Rohaigirl » September 2nd, 2012, 11:39 pm

Hey guys! I'm the Membership Coordinator for my team, so this is the busiest time of year for me apart from the actual competition. We've had a lot of success with putting out recruitment videos and showing them in freshmen biology classes along with a bit of a speech from a veteran member. I was just wondering what kinds of things you do at your schools. How large is your Science Olympiad? Do you actively recruit at all?

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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by Luo » September 2nd, 2012, 11:50 pm

Rohaigirl wrote:Hey guys! I'm the Membership Coordinator for my team, so this is the busiest time of year for me apart from the actual competition. We've had a lot of success with putting out recruitment videos and showing them in freshmen biology classes along with a bit of a speech from a veteran member. I was just wondering what kinds of things you do at your schools. How large is your Science Olympiad? Do you actively recruit at all?
Genuine enthusiasm/passion from team members goes a long way - we were able to increase student participation by over 50% last year mostly through coordinated word-of-mouth. We've found it more effective to talk to potential members one-on-one instead of presentations/speeches to an entire class. Also, success breeds enthusiasm, which brings in more members, which in turn increases success, in a wonderful positive-feedback cycle. Thus, you may consider making your successes more visible by, for example, wearing your medals to school the Monday after competitions. Frequently wearing your team t-shirts or other Science Olympiad gear increases visibility as well. Good luck!
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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by twototwenty » September 3rd, 2012, 5:15 am

What my school does is have a "club expo", in which a bunch of clubs set up displays in the main entrance of the school for the day, and get emails of passing freshman/anyone who expresses interest. This actually does work; we had 80+ kids come to the first meeting/express interest, and we took 4 teams to our invitational competition.

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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by liutony66 » September 3rd, 2012, 7:51 am

How would yall recommend recruiting for a team that has just started out? I'm a freshman, so it will be difficult to recruit from the upper levels by word of mouth.

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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by twototwenty » September 3rd, 2012, 8:26 am

I don't know how your school does announcments, but at mine, we have something called the morning show, which occurs every morning during homeroom and resembles a news channel show, on which you can have the anchors announce an advertisement for a scioly meeting, or you could go on yourself and give your own advertisement. Anyway, what you can do is try to put out an announcement to your entire school about scioly, if your school has a way of doing that.
Also, you can try to get an upperclassman interested, then ask him/her to get some of their friends who might be interested to try it out. There are many ways to go about this issue.

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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by tornado guy » September 3rd, 2012, 8:59 am

Well my former team was a homeschooled team, so we usually recruited by going to homeschooling events, and by word of mouth through homeschooling friends. We usually don't recruit a ton of people, but for the amount we get, we have had an enormous amount of success at the state and national levels.
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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » September 3rd, 2012, 10:10 am

Ah, recruiting. By the looks of it, you're putting your team well into public awareness. Our recruiting extends to putting announcements on the broadcast and PA system. We also started a bulletin board last year where we could put information and news, and that will probably carry over to this year. Also, we try to get higher-level science teachers to identify students who may be interested in participating. And when all else fails, food is very effective.

I think the fact that your team has a Membership Coordinator position shows how devoted your team is to recruiting though, so just keep doing what you're doing. :)
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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by Skink » September 3rd, 2012, 10:12 am

My team has ranged from 6 to nigh-on 50. It takes work to get the higher numbers...posters, announcements*, and involvement fairs are nice, but so are actually speaking with possible competitors and occasionally collecting recommendations from teachers. Those last few are important because some of the best competitors aren't so good at taking the initiative to just join/tryout and need a little push.
*don't rely on this because you can't put in an SO announcement every day from October through March...
liutony66 wrote:How would yall recommend recruiting for a team that has just started out? I'm a freshman, so it will be difficult to recruit from the upper levels by word of mouth.
Start off working from former competitors from the feeder school(s), presumably wherever you went last season. After that, and you probably don't want to hear this, the best way to recruit for a team is to already have an established team with a decent or better track record. Everyone wants to be on the winning team, right? Without that, you need to do a little more work. In addition to what I mentioned above, which are givens, get visible, like was suggested above. Fundraisers, fair, etc...it's all advertisement. After that, you need to work on performing the best you possibly can despite your freshman status to get the team winning something. Losing team morale is awful, and getting people to return the next season isn't as likely.
All other things aside, get a buddy and a motivated coach to help. Every team has its slackers, but, for a starting team, if you're all slackers, you're better off without a team entirely :P . Good luck!

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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by Rohaigirl » September 3rd, 2012, 10:39 am

twototwenty wrote:What my school does is have a "club expo", in which a bunch of clubs set up displays in the main entrance of the school for the day, and get emails of passing freshman/anyone who expresses interest. This actually does work; we had 80+ kids come to the first meeting/express interest, and we took 4 teams to our invitational competition.
We have CLOG (Somewhere in that acronym is "Clubs and Organizations") Rush this upcoming week, actually. For three days, something like thirty of the school's clubs/organizations go out onto the green with tables and run around passing out flyers, shoving posters in peoples' faces, and shouting their "wares" so to speak. Science Olympiad isn't a CLOG in the sense that it goes through the Student Activities Director, so we're not allowed to do that.

So we do the videos in classes during CLOG Rush, give out little flyers, post flyers up around campus, and have an announcement over the loudspeakers. Last year we got way too many people* at our first few meetings, so this year instead of showing the videos in all science classes, we're just showing them in the freshmen biology periods. We figure the upperclassmen who want to join will join, and the ones who don't want to already will, because they already know who we are. Plus, we've got a ton of one-year veterans who can't stop chatting SO up with their buddies.

We're also super lucky to have a ton of support from our administrators. We've done so well at regionals and states these past two years, and they make a huge deal out of it across campus in general.

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liutony66 wrote:How would yall recommend recruiting for a team that has just started out? I'm a freshman, so it will be difficult to recruit from the upper levels by word of mouth.
COOKIES. Most of last years' seniors, who had been in SO since freshman year, said they had come to the first few meetings for free cookies and stayed because of their friends and the science. Also, Skink is absolutely right. Advertise, advertise, advertise...and DO WELL. It's okay to start out small, with just a single team that competes in only a few events. But try your darndest to be a rising star. It's a given that for the first year, if not the first few years, you're gonna be kind of small. It's totally fine. If your adviser/coach is a teacher, I'd recommend them chatting with other science and even math teachers and asking them if they could recommend Science Olympiad to some students they think would achieve in it.

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Re: Team Recruitment

Post by chia » September 3rd, 2012, 10:58 am

Rohaigirl wrote:We're also super lucky to have a ton of support from our administrators. We've done so well at regionals and states these past two years, and they make a huge deal out of it across campus in general.
That's where I feel a lot of teams might struggle... science activities in general are overshadowed by virtually everything else, not just sports but even speech, debate, "business" clubs like DECA (that's big at our school at least) which show up consistently on the announcements and leave no room for anything else. I was thinking about how many kids are in all of the science teams at my school all together (without overlaps) and it comes out to around 50, which is a pretty abysmal turnout considering my school's population is almost 3000. Of course advertising helps a lot as does actually doing well, as has been stressed by most of the above posts, but it's so hard to get out of the vicious cycle of nobody caring... [/pessimism, whoops]
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