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August 2018

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From:
Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Tue, 28 Aug 2018 14:52:42 -0400
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Yes! Start a team. It’s not hard: you have a family room/basement, and hey, YOU won’t have to drive your kid to meetings if they meet at your house (nor will the others, if you can really cobble together a true “neighborhood” team).

 

The Capital Girls were a school team for the first couple of years, then the middle school wasn’t into FLL, so we went private. My recollection (it’s been over a decade) was that it was under $200/team member per season (for the challenge kit etc.). We picked up a used table for free, but building one isn’t hard: 4x8 plywood and a few pieces of 2x4, drywall screws, maybe some paint. You likely don’t need a light, nor a trestle if you don’t want one – the Girls just laid it on the floor. Maybe a few bucks of what you collect goes for T-shirts or swaps. If they go to State, there’s more cost there, of course—but that’s a good problem to have!

 

You probably want two coaches, plus *maybe* an assistant coach or two, or older-kid mentor(s). Since kids who are into STEM typically have at least one parent who’s a geek, he or she can help coach the technical part, and anyone can help with the non-technical part. Remember, the kids are doing the work: you’re mostly riding herd and keeping them focused, which is a parent skill, not an FLL skill.

 

Advantages of a neighborhood team include more flexibility in meeting times (since you’re not dependent on the school being open) and the ability to have fewer than ten kids on a team. With the right kids, ten is fine; with a rowdy mix, it can be a lot to manage (especially boys—you can say I’m biased but I’ve observed a LOT of teams over the last 15 years and I stand by that observation, not that I’d’ve been unhappy to coach the Capital Boys).

 

We usually met once a week until the home stretch, then twice a week. Lower impact than most any other activity! Try it, it’s a great investment of your time and energy.

-- 

Phil Smith III

 

Coach, The Capital Girls (retired)

Team 1900 (2002)

Team 2497 (2003)

Team 2355 (2004)

Team 1945 (2005)

 

From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Skip Morrow
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 2:20 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Looking for a spot in FLL Team in Herndon / Reston nearby Area

 

I am glad this discussion has started. I always shake my head when I see posts from anxious parents looking for teams for their children. I rarely, if ever, see positive responses. 

 

The real problem, it seems, is that there are very few "neighborhood teams". Teams that will allow anyone to join. I know of one such team in the Hampton Roads area, and I think her business has closed as of this year, so that will leave none. All other teams are associated with a school, and they are limited to students at that school. If your school doesn't have a team, you are pretty much out of luck.

 

I have often thought about starting a website to help parents connect their kids with a team, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it probably wouldn't do much good because there just aren't very many teams looking for kids.

 

I hope that I am wrong about the neighborhood teams. Maybe it's just a Hampton Roads thing. Maybe more teams are not associated with schools than I realize. In which case the website is an excellent idea.

 

So, what's the solution? I'd like to encourage these parents that are in search of a team to start a team of their own. Then they can spread the wealth and help a few more parents even. Other than that, I don't know what the solution is.

 

I'd love to see this discussion continue. Scott, I'd love to volunteer to help you, but I'm not the enterprise programmer type. I am sure there are a few here though.

 

Best Regards,

Skip Morrow


.

 

 

On Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 1:54 PM Scott Rakestraw <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:

Helping people connect and form teams is a challenge for FIRST. As a region run by volunteers, we see the need and would like to build a Team-up application to help people connect with and form teams. We need volunteers to help build it.

 

If you are product manager, scrum master, UX/design professional, web developer, software engineer or QA professional who would like to work on a community project to help people connect, please contact me. 

 

I am hopeful by coming together as a community, we can build a solution that will solve this problem and still meet the youth protection standards of FIRST.

 

Thanks,

 

Scott Rakestraw

VA/DC Judge Advisor

[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 

 

 

From: "[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> " <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> > on behalf of Chintan Dixit <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> >
Reply-To: Chintan Dixit <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> >
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 1:34 PM
To: "[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> " <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> >
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Looking for a spot in FLL Team in Herndon / Reston nearby Area

 

Are people looking for teams for their kids been successful in finding team in their local areas? It will be interesting to see the outcome of such outreach. I request parents to share views. I usually don't see a response to such posts. I can only hope that parent are finding teams for their kids. My own experience has not been very good. This has been a challenge for newcomers, and in some cases with experienced kids once their team is dissolved and/or they move out to another area. I wonder if FLL has recommendations to engage student and parents into FLL activities and start local teams if parents are willing to help via forums like this? If I understand correctly, northern VA has the most FLL participation worldwide.

 

 


  _____  


From: Komal Tewtia <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> >
To: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 11:51 AM
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Looking for a spot in FLL Team in Herndon / Reston nearby Area

 

Hello Coaches and mentors, 

 

I am looking for a spot for my son in a FLL team in Herndon area. He is a rising 4th grader and passionate about research and robotics.  I would be available to help the team in many different ways. Please let me know if you are looking for a team member. 

 

Thanks in advance, 

Komal Tewtia

703.989.0062

 

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