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October 2009

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First Lego League in Virginia and DC <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 30 Oct 2009 18:45:50 -0400
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David Levy <[log in to unmask]>
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David Levy <[log in to unmask]>
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" we had to change the batteries and it's like a completely different  
robot."

Battery strength affects the power level of the motors.

There  is a good lesson to be had on having the kids observe how a  
motor's power setting influences the vehicle's speed and distance  
travelled .   The kids should try this for motor duration as seconds  
as well as duration as rotations and then choose  a solution that  
ensures that the vehicle maintains its accuracy regardless of the  
power level.
-David

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 30, 2009, at 5:57 PM, Laura Dysart <[log in to unmask]>  
wrote:

> Brian- while I thought our new young team finally had one consistent  
> mission down (which the team is ok with as a goal)- we had to change  
> the batteries and it's like a completely different robot.   i really  
> feel like now we are at  point when we could desperately use two  
> more weeks- I actually read the second paragraph in the "advice for  
> coaches" on page 8 of the coaches manual- for "rookie teams" to them  
> today- and I have reminded them that whatever happens Saturday- they  
> have worked hard and learned a lot- when I look at the rubric, I  
> feel the same way- but it's kind of too late now- I think as a  
> second year team we'll be able to work on more- I told them I'd be  
> willing to meet with them once a month or so just to "play around  
> with the Mindstorms." I think those of us who have Rookie Teams  
> should feel good about giving them this experience and reminding  
> them to learn at this tournament- I reminded them there would be  
> some teams that would be able to accomplish a lot of missions- but  
> we are a new team.  Our team work is not quite fully developed as I  
> would like, and again, not enough time- but I'm proud of them.  
> You're not alone.  Laura
> On Oct 30, 2009, at 1:08 PM, Brian Nussbaum wrote:
>
>> Hello VDACFLL,
>> (My thoughts with a question at the end)
>>
>> I am a first-year coach with a very young team of 5th graders.   
>> Earlier in
>> this listserv there was some conversation about coaches who do not  
>> feel that
>> they are ready for the competition.
>>
>> We have a week until our day at JMU, and I can definitely say that  
>> ateam and
>> bteam from Thomas Harrison Middle School will be bringing up the  
>> rear.  It
>> will be quite amazing if our group is able to complete one task on  
>> the
>> table, and have any sort of powerpoint with a linear thought  
>> process.  We
>> have not completed any of the requirements on the rubric for our  
>> research.
>>
>> HOWEVER, as coaches we are looking at the process rather than the end
>> result. Learning has happened on the part of both the students and  
>> the
>> coaches (for example, some of our students are learning that it is  
>> not a
>> good idea to completely dismantle the robot a week before the  
>> competition).
>> On the whole, it is a good example of how this particular group of  
>> 5th
>> graders has some significant growing to do in the thought-process and
>> maturity departments.
>>
>> As coaches, we have done significant scaffolding for them to try to  
>> break
>> down the problem into smaller chunks, but we will just call our  
>> students
>> 'creative thinkers' rather than linear or result-oriented thinkers.
>>
>> But this is OK, because we have made progress, even though very  
>> little of it
>> will appear on Saturday.  We are trusting that this will be a  
>> learning
>> experience for this very young team.  At this point they don't even  
>> realize
>> what they don't know.  Seeing other teams will be a good  
>> opportunity for
>> them to realize their potential for the future.
>>
>> If we work together a few times in the spring to go back and solve  
>> a few of
>> this year's tasks, and then get an earlier start next fall, we may  
>> be more
>> in the middle of the pack next year (I'm thinking optimistically).
>>
>> This is to assure all of you that are feeling worried--it's OK.
>>
>> Question:  will there be an opportunity for my teams to watch other  
>> groups'
>> research presentations?  I think they never really got a full  
>> understanding
>> of what we were going for on the research end of things.  Seeing a
>> successful group could be helpful for them.
>>
>> Thanks.
>> -- 
>> Mr. Brian Nussbaum
>> Mathematics Teacher
>> Thomas Harrison Middle School
>>
>>
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