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September 2012

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From:
Curt Tran <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Curt Tran <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 16:00:43 -0400
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Donna, You gave some really great suggestion.

 

Tom, Look like your team did a really great job of promoting FLL.  Make sure the kids bring this up with the judges at their competition as this is one of the core values of sharing our FLL experience with other.

 

I know it is very challenging in deciding who to cut.  We had the same problem several years ago at my son middle school, but we were lucky to have registered the 2nd team on time.  FIRST’s mission “is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them…” -- so how to do that if we chase them away when they want to participate.  

 

A suggestion is to break the group of 18 into two teams and have them compete for the honor of representing the school at the FLL tournament this year.  You can use the FLL rubrics and asked for teacher volunteers to judge and select the winning team.  Your schedule will be tight since you will have to have the face-off a week or so before actual regional tournament.  Try to register for a competition of the third (last) week of competition so you can get some more time.  You might have to travel a little further, and can ask for some consideration if you don’t get that week.  Just flip a coin to see which team to register on-line; and you can swap the winning team roster on competition day if needed.  The loosing team can still come to the FLL tournament to experience all the excitement and just to have fun cheering for their school.

 

Best wishes,

T. (Curt) Tran

Judges Advisor, GMU Regional ’11

Judges Advisor, TJHSST Regional ’09

Mentor Team #5390, Kilmer-I ’09

Mentor Team #8941, Kilmer-II ’09

Coach Team #324, Scitobor ’08

Coach Team #3563, Rabid Llama Lords ’07

 

 

From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donna Cornwell
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:15 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Team Size question

 

Tom,

 

First, congratulations on promoting FLL and introducing it to more kids.

 

Making cuts  is hard.  I would suggest setting some guidelines and pick according to the guidelines.  Here are some thoughts that I had:

 

- Since there is a team continuing from last year, do you want to give priority to returning members?  

- Conversely, do you want to give the opportunity to experience a tournament to kids who did not get to do it last year?

 

- Consider aging out.  If your middle school is 6th - 8th grade, you might give priority to the 8th graders as they will be out of the school. 

 

- Consider roles, you could ask kids to apply for specific roles on the team and submit something that shows their aptitude  -- project, building, programming or just fill out a short application.

 

- Be very clear about the time commitment and that it is not only about the robot.  Some kids might prefer a once a week lego robotics club.  My team loved the tournaments, but some kids didn't return the next year because the time commitment was too much for them.

 

- For the second team, find some opportunities for them to exhibit their robot.  My team exhibited at the FRC tournament in Richmond and had a great time.  There are occasional calls for FLL teams to exhibit at events in DC.  You could also organize a scrimmage -- it could be just your teams or you could invite other teams.

 

Donna Cornwell

[log in to unmask]

 

 

 

On 09/27/12, Tom Spalthoff<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 

Background – I helped form a FLL team out of our middle school last year with a small group of students.  Based on the success of that venture, we decided to open up the school club to others.  While we were a little concerned with what the response might be, we ended up with a group of around 18.  

 

While we already re-registered the team from last year, we apparently waited a few hours too long to try and register a 2nd team, leaving us with just one team for this year.

 

While only having one team is a little disappointing, I still believe we can keep all of the kids involved in the process.  The club will continue to meet during the course of the year, albeit less frequently, to continue to use Lego Robotics to learn new things, so in that vein, I think we can keep everyone excited and involved even if they won’t be able to actually participate in the tournament in November.

 

The question, though, is how to select which kids “make the team.”  I’ve been considering that the club should want to do the best that it can, so letting the kids themselves vote for who goes has some merit, but I don’t want it to become a popularity contest, either.  I’m also a little concerned with making sure all 18 aren’t acting a single team as this wouldn’t be fair, but I think once the core team is established, creating related activities for the rest as a rehearsal for next year shouldn’t be that difficult.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be most helpful!

 

Thanks,

--Tom

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