The conception that the FLL is just about the robot and missions is a
common problem among new team members and their parents, It's not,
and it has been designed that way. In my first few tournaments, it did
seem like the high scoring teams on the missions always won the
tournament. However, it doesn't always turn out that way. The best
teams overall do seem to advance, just as it should be. If you go to
enough competitions, you will eventually see that the focus really is
not totally on the missions but on who does best overall. (I've just
completed my 5th year of coaching.)
I've gotten to the point that I state clearly and concisely to parents
of new members that not everyone gets "table time" -- only those kids
who show the focus and patience to work with the missions get to work
on the missions. It's a hard thing, especially where you have just one
coach and they have to play both good cop and bad cop. It's even
harder when you have a returning team member that just can't focus on
the missions but who really wants to work on them.
What I think is so great about the FLL program is that it incorporates
all the different facets of business life (teamwork, research,
engineering, operations, etc.) into one "program". I can't think of a
better activity to prepare kids for what they will experience in the
real world than FLL.
On Sun, Nov 9, 2008 at 1:35 PM, George W. Dodd, SRA
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 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 team's 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 team's 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.
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