About YAC (And How to Join)

The Botball Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was founded in 2009 and is a group of current and former Botballers with one simple mission: keep making Botball better.

Our projects have included the Botball Community website, the Botball Twitter and Facebook pages, better documentation for new Botball teams, the Live-Blog Challenge, Botball Live, video compilations of Botball events, interacting with the media, legislators, and industry to promote Botball, assisting KIPR with planning expansion and promotion of Botball, design and management of GCER student activities, and many other projects. YAC members choose which projects they work on -- anything that makes Botball better is up for grabs. Contrary to popular myth, you actually don't have to be a crazy-awesome programmer or a crazy-awesome engineer to be on YAC.

One of our major projects (Botball Live) was featured as the top story on the front page of the NASA Robotics website in July 2011, making YAC membership an excellent asset for resumes. It's also a great opportunity (though certainly not required) to learn new skills, including in the areas of programming, video production, public relations, website management, social media, journalism, and of course leadership.

KIPR facilitates YAC projects both financially and logistically and frequently collaborates with YAC, but YAC is independent of KIPR in terms of both leadership and membership. While KIPR occasionally suggests projects to collaborate with YAC on, most YAC projects were hatched as ideas by single YAC members.

The requirements to join YAC are fairly minimal. Applicants must have already been in Botball for at least a full year, and must be no younger than 8th grade and no older than a college senior. Applications must also be accompanied by a letter of recommendation by a current or former Botball team mentor. YAC members who wish to re-apply for an additional term may simply re-submit their previous application, along with a summary of what they accomplished on YAC over the year. YAC applications are typically made available in July or August of each year, with a deadline in October or November. The new YAC members are selected blindly by the previous year's YAC, typically in December or January. The new YAC begins activities almost immediately after being selected.

The first YAC activity of the year is to elect officers. Three officers are chosen via Condorcet ranked-pair vote: President, Vice President of Public Relations, and Vice President of Technology. Each Vice President manages a Committee: Public Relations for more people-oriented projects, and Technology for more technically-oriented projects. Sub-committees (with associated Project Managers) are often formed for specific projects, and YAC members are free to join as many Committees and Sub-committees as they wish. The President works to ensure that the two Committees are working together, as well as representing YAC to KIPR.