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October 2009

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Subject:
From:
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 21 Oct 2009 10:57:15 -0400
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Lisa and Jin,

I believe that Jin is collecting and distributing information on 
general robot design and programming principals, and examples from 
prior seasons. Most of this information is already available online, 
on many team web sites, Youtube, etc., and many teams already take 
advantage of those resources. I don't believe Jin is including 
information specifically about the Transportation challenge, or about 
his team's work in the current season, but he should confirm that.

Certainly none of us should be trading intel on strategies or 
solutions to this year's Transportation missions (except for an 
occasional "is my kids' solution legal?" question), and stuff like 
that should also be withheld from the DVD and from training sessions. 
It is good for coaches to arm themselves with a variety of building 
and programming skills, in order that they may mentor and "ladder" 
the kids. But the solutions themselves--specific to how to tackle the 
Transportation missions--should come entirely from the creative minds 
of the children.  When I am coaching I am very careful (and this is 
the hardest part of coaching!) to NOT point the kids toward specific 
solutions. My job is to mentor, not to guide, and it would be a 
hollow victory if my team did well at tournament using solutions that 
had been encouraged by me, or using skills beyond the ones they truly 
possess.

That being said, there's lots a coach can legitimately do. In the 
off-season or pre-season I may show my team selected YouTube videos 
or web photos, to illustrate techniques that they might find 
compelling. Over the summer or early in the fall season I do take the 
time to hold brief training sessions on generic topics, building a 
suite of skills that they may later draw on when they are designing 
their robot or brainstorming solutions. For example, I have held 
sessions on various ways that a robot may turn a corner, or how does 
line-following work, or calculating distances using the wheel 
diameter, or creating MyBlocks. But those are never done on the 
mission table, and any connections made to the current missions come 
from their fertile brains, not my aged one. It takes diligence and 
restraint for a coach to not cross that line, and this is one of the 
hardest yet most important aspects to coaching FLL, in my opinion.

Mike


>Jin,
>
>   This is all great information that you are giving out but I think 
>you should be doing this during the "off-season".  It is very 
>disheartening as a coach to see my team struggle to figure out a 
>solution and the next week see you offer that solution to whoever 
>wants to take it.
>
>Lisa Savage
>Team 0697
>
>From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC 
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jin Ye
>Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:25 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] A special offer to your team - a free 2 
>hour FLL robot design / programming clinic at your place between 
>Friday, 10/16 to Sundays 11/01
>
>Oops.
>
>My mailing (home) address is
>
>Jin Ye
>4520 Willet Drive, Annandale, VA 22003
>
>--- On Wed, 10/21/09, Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>From: Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] A special offer to your team - a free 2 
>hour FLL robot design / programming clinic at your place between 
>Friday, 10/16 to Sundays 11/01
>To: "Jin Ye" <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 9:23 AM
>Dear Jin,
>
>Sounds like a great collection of information!
>
>What is your mailing address?
>
>Thanks,
>Mike
>
>
>Dear VADCFLLers:
>
>
>
>I have a FLL INFO DVD for the attendees of the workshop, including in
>
>
>
>1 - Robot designs examples and mission programs of the previous 
>challenges from the teams hat I have coached or mentored, and from 
>the material geruosly provided by "Configurators" - our Virginia's 
>own BEST team ever in my opinion.
>
>2 - Other NXT robots building instruction which can be an 
>excellent initial study/example models for FLL robots, mostly from 
>Internet
>
>3 - Showcase FLL Challenge robot game performance video from some 
>national and international renown teams and from our award-winning 
>Virginia teams (Team Configurators, Team Tiki, Team Robot 
>Activators, Team MaJJEECKS, Team SMALL, Team Sea Monsters, and Team 
>Mission Plausible)
>
>4 - In-depth Discussions on various FLL Challenge related topics 
>from previous years FLL Forums
>
>5 - A "Video on 2007 Rules" including many illustrations of the 
>previous missions.
>
>
>
>I'm making it available to VADCFLL list. If you mail me a 
>self-addressed and pre-stamped enverlope, I'll do my best to send it 
>to you ASAP - don't worry about the cost of the DVD media and please 
>please dont' send cash with the enverlope.
>
>
>
>Jin
>
>--- On Wed, 10/21/09, Debbie Harris <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>From: Debbie Harris <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] A special offer to your team - a free 2 
>hour FLL robot design / programming clinic at your place between 
>Friday, 10/16 to Sundays 11/01
>To: "Jin Ye" <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 12:11 AM
>
>I am in Botetourt County.  Would you consider creating a video of 
>one of your workshops and making it available to teams not in your 
>area?
>
>On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 10:45 AM, Jin Ye 
><<[log in to unmask]" target="_blank">http:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> 
>wrote:
>Dear FLLers:
>
>I, a WOULD-BE of FLL "mentor-on-the-run" offer the NVA local teams a 
>"home-service-call": a free 2 hour FLL robot design / programming 
>clinic at your place between Friday, 10/16 to Sundays 11/01 (only 
>evenings at the weekends).
>
>
>
>The "NVA local teams" is defined as
>
>1 - Any teams based at home within 20-mile radius to zip-codes 20151 
>(my work place in Chantilly) or 22003 (my home in Annandale)
>
>2 - Any teams based at school within 35-mile radius to the same 
>zip-codes indicated above.
>
>
>
>Of cause, As always I do this on totally volunteer-basis. Actually I 
>am quite busy at work to bring up an information database system to 
>comply a DOD security standard / requirement. Therefore, any 
>personal time-off should be planned ahead.
>
>
>
>If your team wants me to come at weekday daytime, you have to let me 
>know ASAP.
>
>
>
>What I will offer to you at the clinic -
>
>
>
>Simply put, if currently your team expects to score 150 to 200 
>points at the robot game, you may gain 50 to 100 more points if you 
>implement the robot design / programming tips that I will go through 
>at the clinic. And the teams will enjoy a lot more in this Challenge 
>because they will feel that THEY KNOW HOW TO MAKE THE ROBOT TO PLAY 
>THE GAME!
>
>
>
>Certainly the meeting will be interactive - I strongly encourage and 
>welcome your questions at the clinic.
>
>
>
>I prefer to work with team's builders and programmers only (plus 
>coaches / mentors) so the meeting can be more effective.
>
>
>
>I'll have some 2009 game mission execution demos used for explain 
>the tips. The original NXT mission script is from Liam Bishop and 
>his teammates of FLL 2009 Team 8404. The robot that I'll use for the 
>demo is from award-winning FLL 2007 Team 945, built by Jason Ye and 
>his teammates.
>
>
>
>I cannot reveal the awesome secret of Team 8404's robot. But I can't 
>help to tell you the robot carries a "missile".
>
>
>
>If you are interested in the offer, please reply back to me only 
>(not to the list). The deadline is Saturday, 10/17. If the number of 
>teams that asked me is more than that I can service during the 
>period, I'll give priority to the school teams first, and then the 
>teams with the majority of the kids who never did the FLL 
>challengers before, and so on.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Jin Ye
>
>
>
>
>
>
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