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November 2009

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Subject:
From:
Kathleen Wakeman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Kathleen Wakeman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 11 Nov 2009 11:26:30 -0500
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I too would love it if the teams could see the other projects. I think it
would really spur their creativity and set a mark for excellence for the
next year. Re the introductions: we didn't get a checkmark for that even
though our team did introduce themselves (team, school, town), which made me
wonder: are individual teammember introductions desired?

Kathy Wakeman
Mindstorm Marauders
On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 9:35 AM, Linda Bangert <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> I would like to add the thanks of Team WNANF (We Need A Name Fast) to the
> others who have chimed in about the Newport News tournament.  We are a
> rookie team, and had a few surprises in how things were done, but the
> scheduling went very smoothly, the rooms were easy to find and centrally
> located, and folks were gracious and professional.  Well done!
>
> I'll pass along the things that surprised us, in the hope it can help
> others.  I hope I'm not spilling any secrets.
>
> One of the things our team got feedback on the sheets as a weakness was "No
> introductions to judges." Although our team handed the judge the Team
> Information sheet, no one told us that it was standard procedure to
> introduce themselves as well.  Talking to an experienced coach friend, he
> said they forgot to tell this year's team to do that, even though they had
> remembered to tell their previous teams.
>
> The team was also surprised in the robot judging to be asked to run the
> robot while they answered questions.  Even though this is a middle school
> team, several members are shy, and had a hard time listening to and coming
> up with coherent answers to the judges' questions while they were also
> trying to run the robot - definitely something we need to practice.
>
> After reading the comments here last week (at 10:30 p.m. the night before
> our tournament) about needing to bring a "code book" with photos of the
> robot with all the attachments and printouts of the programs, I was in a
> panic, particularly since my printer was out of ink.  We decided to just
> take our robot and laptop to show the programs.  Although bringing our robot
> to the robot judging may seem obvious, it wasn't to this rookie coach,
> particularly after reading about needing to bring photos.  Finally, even
> though some team members said, "We can show you in our program what we did,"
> the judges didn't want to look at their programs at all.  (Glad I didn't go
> on a midnight expedition for printer ink!)
>
> As a final suggestion, I would have liked to have the team see the other
> teams' presentations, in order get ideas on what worked and what didn't.
>  This is allowed (with students as young as 3rd grade) in Odyssey of the
> Mind, and the kids learn a lot from each other.  The format is very much the
> same - using classrooms for the presentations.  When the room is full,
> that's it, so teams would have to be judicious about sending only a couple
> of members to not take up too much space.
>
> Perhaps a "What to Expect" few paragraphs would be helpful, either posted
> on the VA/DC website or e-mailed to the coaches when they register for a
> tournament.  This should help new coaches, and also serve as a checklist for
> the experienced coaches.  To put everything in perspective, none of these
> things hurt us much, as we did qualify for State, but it was stressful for
> the team members.  Even so, they had a great time.  Thanks again!
>
> Linda Bangert
> Coach for Team WNANF
> Poquoson Middle School
>
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