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October 2010

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First Lego League in Virginia and DC <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 6 Oct 2010 22:33:44 -0400
Reply-To:
Stephen Scherr <[log in to unmask]>
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Stephen Scherr <[log in to unmask]>
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To: Laura Dysart <[log in to unmask]>
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Laura,
  I think your team may be restricting its creativity more than it needs to.  I haven't judged Project as much as other categories, so I can't speak for other judges, but I've seen solutions presented by teams that verged on science fiction.  What is important is how the team treats its idea and what it does with it.

  The project challenge is to identify a problem:  "Think about the things that could go wrong with each [body part, function or system], and ways to protect, repair, or make them stronger. Be creative. Be silly. Be serious."
  Learn about the problem
  Create an innovative solution
  Share it
  Present it

Wiktionary says engineering is "the application of science to the needs of humanity", so most of the solution should conform to the laws of nature, but starting with one improbable or not-yet-possible concept (telekinesis, engineering microorganisms that exactly counter the effects of other microorganisms) is okay.  Yes, its harder to support imaginary concepts with data, but there are ways to base analysis on numbers and techniques that exist in our known world, at least in many cases.  (Postulate the necessary power output needed for telekinesis and analyze the consequences for real objects.  Identify the probability of creating the right microorganism DNA sequence, and postulate a method that lets you get to the right one!)


  The biomedical engineering theme means that the team starts with a human biology problem and engineers a way to protect, repair, or make it stronger.  That could be: develop/imagine a machine or technology to warn hospital staff that they aren't in a sanitary condition.  It could be:  humans on a hundred-year space flight get bored looking out the window and forget to take care of their spaceship.  Develop something that will keep them interested and alert.

On the other hand, if the team has identified a current problem and can implement a solution today, that's superb!  I've seen that happen in FLL, too.

Steve Scherr

On Oct 6, 2010, at 8:20 PM, Laura Dysart wrote:

> I am the one with the kid on my team who had a super sci-fi idea- we found enough issues that it just isn't going to be possible. Our team is interested in pursuing a problem- the initial info was given by a biomedical engineer at VCU who came to speak to the kids- problem is people die or get very sick in hospitals due to a secondary infection from staff non-compliance in hand- washing (seems small, but causes death and illness). Kids have researched the impact of this already.  System: immune, problem people get seriously ill and die unnecessarily. Some devices are in the works- if our kids came up with a "unique" ability to warn staff they have not washed their hands (the assumption being health care professionals by profession don't want to hurt patients by not washing their hands- they just get busy and forget.... one of our team members was concerned that this would not actually be considered bio- medical engineering- although a bio medical engineer expressed it as one of the more important issues in the field.  Does anyone have any clue if this would not be considered bio-med engineering for any reason? or is their a higher authority source we could check in with so we don't waste time.  laura Dysart:)
> On Oct 6, 2010, at 7:39 PM, Tom Bove wrote:
> 
>> The coaches handbook had a judge’s scoring/evaluation criteria chart.  Is there a copy on-line?
>> Thank you.
>>  
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