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November 2008

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From:
Stuart & Lori Roll <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Stuart & Lori Roll <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 21 Nov 2008 18:10:54 -0500
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I agree with you to a point.  You have it right that this board was harder than the last couple and that it forces you to make harder choices this year.  After observing two regionals and thinking about them, I think that this year's game really shows a stratification of the teams.  In previous years there were a whole lot more teams clumped in the middle of the scores but this year there is a big group with scores in the low 100's or less, a much smaller group in the 200's and a few elite teams above 300 points.

The fact that there are teams scoring over 300 means that "impossible" is too strong a word.

The unasked question seems to be "Shouldn't the game be easier for the weaker teams so they won't get discouraged?".  That may be a valid question to ask after the season is over and I'd be curious to see people's thoughts on the matter.  I think the biggest problem was people's expectations.  They thought they could score points as easily as last year and got frustrated when they couldn't

Personally, I thought that last year's game was very clever in how it related to the topic (e.g., you have to "spend" a barrel of oil to get energy from corn).  This year's game had some individually challenging missions but the biggest trick was not "how could you do this" but "how in the world can you do this in 2 1/2 minutes?"  I also thought that the rules were better and tighter this year than in years past - I applaud the designers for changing them.

Obviously there are a few teams that rose to the challenge this year.  I am really curious to see the inevitable "400" teams that will be posting on youtube after the season's over!

Stuart

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Juliann Eberheim 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 12:50 PM
  Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Mentoring rookie coaches


  This year was definitely frustrating board wise.  My team was must disheartened by the tasks but I kept reminding them that they are trying to make the boards harder so that no-one could get all the points in the time period which in turn makes you (the team) have to figure out what is worth going for and what do you avoid.  I kept stressing to them to get the most that they can with their robot and not worry about what the point totals will be.  Unfortunately, the inaccuracy of this type of robot made some of the missions - dare I say - "impossible?" or at least impossible to duplicate consistently and without destroying strategic pieces (either the one you were going for or some innocent bystanding piece!)  In the end, I know my team learned the power of frustration and the reward of sticking with it through it all.  This was my second year coaching and one thing I noticed very much from the team was much more eagerness to work on the project th! ! an to go work on that mission board!  I let the kids have a break from the board but definitely encouraged them to never give up.

  Juliann
  Mindstormers
  [log in to unmask]

    -------------- Original message -------------- 
    From: David Levy <[log in to unmask]> 

    > I ran a few camps in the past two summers and it was truly a delight to 
    > see that several of my former students had found their way onto teams 
    > this season. I have to say though that the level of training offered in 
    > a week long camp is not a prerequisite for participation in the FLL. 
    > 
    > From what I have seen, the problems that rookie coaches face are due to 
    > difficulty in knowing where to start. I can't tell you how many 
    > parents that I've advised, had purchased a retail kit for their child 
    > but never bothered to install the software. Likewise there are many 
    > teachers who have installed the Edu Kit's. software for their school 
    > based club or in the classroom but never knew about the included > tutorials. IMHO, all it takes is a few hours of an experienced 
    > coaches time to get the new coaches acclimated . The new coaches in 
    > turn have to ask more questions here on the VADCFLL-L email list. 
    > 
    > One thing that I did notice this season was a drop off of veteran 
    > teams. I'm thinking that this may be due to the difficulty in this 
    > year's robot game and the unwillingness for teams to register for 
    > tournaments - thinking that their scores were too low. How about those 
    > teams that stuck it out and registered for the regionals? Were you 
    > surprised that most teams scored lower than prior years? 
    > 
    > David Levy 
    > VA/DC FLL Education and Outreach Director 
    > 3rd Year Coach 
    > 
    > 
    > 
    > 
    > 
    > 
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