May 2011


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Junior FIRST LEGO League in Virginia and DC <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 2 May 2011 07:38:45 -0400
Sonya Shaver <[log in to unmask]>
Sonya Shaver <[log in to unmask]>
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To: Gina Willett <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi Gina,
I am not in your area, but I wanted to just send out a vote of encouragement
to you that it really is not hard to start a team, if you wind up not being
able to find one to join.  You don't need to be an engineer to be the adult
coach.  You really are just a facilitator.  Sure, it helps if you know
something, but you really don't have to.  And if you are willing to do the
administrative stuff to get a team going, you might find some parents who
could help with the programming part.  I started a team four years ago when
my son was 8 turning 9 just before the FLL season began, and they have far
exceeded me by now (and did long ago) in what they can do.  They offer
workshops around the state for new coaches every year to teach the basics,
which I think get posted on the VA/DC FLL website.  And there are a lot of
online tutorial programs you can do as well.  Even just doing the tutorial
stuff that comes with the Mindstorms kit is super helpful.

Here is one tutorial:

You could let your son do this, and just be there learning alongside him.
There are a lot of other resources online if you just do a search.  There
are also robotics camps around the state that area good intro.  My son and
his friends did a one-week robotics summer course at Blue Ridge Community
College a couple of times, and that is how they learned the basic concepts
behind programming.  Starting a team is lots of fun and has been a really
rewarding experience for our family.  Feel free to email me if you want
encouragement or support or have other questions.  Just wanted to say you
can do it!  :)

Sonya Shaver
Harrisonburg, VA

On Sun, May 1, 2011 at 5:58 PM, Gina Willett <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>  Hello,
> We attended the expo on Saturday hoping to figure out how to get my son
> (almost 9 years old) in a Lego group, but had no luck. I've been trying for
> well over a year to find a group that he can join -- with no success.   We
> live just north of Richmond, in Ashland Virginia.  My son is crazy for Legos
> and would like to someday be an engineer.   The only Lego club that operates
> through our school starts with 4th graders. He is a rising 3rd grader.  All
> I keep hearing is to "start your own group," but I am not really capable of
> that (sorry, I haven't got a clue about building these things) and my
> husband is bogged down with his job.
> Does anyone have any suggestions??
> I would really appreciate it!!
> Gina Willett
>  ------------------------------
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