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November 2008

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First Lego League Discussion <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Sun, 9 Nov 2008 14:19:12 -0500
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Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
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Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
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To: "George W. Dodd, SRA" <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask]
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It sounds to me like youíve misunderstood how scoring works. Table performance, robot design, research, and teamwork are equally weighted (Robot design includes programming). Iíve never had the impression that FLL materials made the project sound most important; in fact, weíve frequently had to remind teams that the project *is* important, as they tend to focus on the robot and missions. And Iíve seen teams with weak table performance make State based on good research, teamwork, and even robot design Ė- good and interesting design/programming can score well in judging, even if it doesnít do well at the table.

The judging (non-table-run) slots are all ten minutes: the project presentation slot was (or at least is supposed to be) five minutes of presentation and five minutes of Q&A; teamwork is five minutes of exercise and five minutes of Q&A; and robot design is a combination of demonstration and Q&A.

Yes, there are three (actually four, counting practice) table runs, but only the highest run counts. And since the table runs are the most visible for the parents, this seems like a goodness to me.

I donít mean to sound defensive here -Ė any and all input is always welcome, and clearly there's some disconnect somewhere! (And I don't mean that to sound snide -- please don't take it that way.) Can you give more details as to what led to your perception? ďI dunno, itís just how it seemedĒ is a valid response, and might simply indicate that we need to make things clearer. But if there are specifics, Iíd love to hear 'em!
-- 
Phil Smith III
Virginia State Judge Advisor, 2007, 2008
Judge Advisor, Northern Virginia Regional tournaments, 2006
Division 1 Judge Advisor, Virginia State tournament, 2006

Coach, The Capital Girls, Oak Hill (retired)
Team 1900 (2002)
Team 2497 (2003)
Team 2355 (2004)
Team 1945 (2005)
________________________________________
From: First Lego League Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of George W. Dodd, SRA
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 1:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] It's all about the robot

It seems to me that there is a disconnect between what FLL states and what happens at the tournament.† In reading the challenge this year the team was suppose to identify a local change in climate and find possible solutions.† The materials provided from FLL suggest that the teamís project would represent the largest part of their score and that the robot and its performance were of secondary importance.†† 

The tournament however is clearly focused on the robot.† The team scores appeared to based mostly on robot design, programming, and table performance.† The teamís project seemed not to really count for much.† Of the times the team met with the judges; one was for the robot programming and design, three were the robot challenge at the table, one for a team building exercise, and one two minute segment was for the presentation of their project. †

Maybe there should be two types of tournaments where one is based on the project and the other on the robot.† 

George Dodd

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