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December 2008


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Rusty West <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Rusty West <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 11:11:48 -0500
text/plain (71 lines)
I want to take a second to present MY OPINION and I don't mean to preach.
This is just for others to consider when planning for next year.

I do agree with you and after 8 years as an FLL Division 2 coach I am sure
your philosophy is the right way to go.  I now have former team members in
college, studying engineering,  who come back and tell me how FLL helped
them.  I can do the programming and build but I NEVER NEVER NEVER touch the
robot or the keyboard for programming.  I don't even carry it around at the
competitions.  At the state competition I saw coaches helping to build on
the robot and typing the programming without any kids standing around.
Those team members were missing out on a learning moment because their coach
was doing the work.  In the technical room my kids told the judges that I
had told them I was a "FACILITATOR" in practice and they had never seen me
put two Legos together.  I only answer a question with another question that
will help guide them to find the answer.   I know the coaches that help the
kids with building and programming have the best of intentions but they just
don't understand that mistakes and frustration are part of the learning
process.  My kids can recite that " Thomas Edison had 600 failures before he
got the light bulb to work" because I preach that to them when they get

My other concern is that I see too much Odessy of the Mind ( OM )creeping
into FLL.  Teams spend too much time on their costumes, give aways, and
other props instead of focusing on the engineering and actual science.  This
is about robotics and engineering.  OM is a fine competition and has it's
place.  FLL should be about engineering and science, not cute costumes
( beyond t shirts ) and other fluff.  I don't know of any team that couldn't
use more practice time and taking time away to do fluff means less
engineering practice time.  If teams have so much extra time they should go
on to program in RobotC.  I haven't gotten to that point yet with my kids
but wish I could.

I don't mean to rant, just throwing my opinion out there for consideration.

-----Original Message-----
From: vadcfll championship tournament
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donna
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-CHAMPIONSHIP-L] Judging feedback sheets

I only have one question - - Are the KIDS reading these emails?? I'm
retiring this year so I guess I can speak my mind without fear of
retribution :-) but everyone please remember that it is the team members who
need to know how to do these things - - not us! I couldn't run my team's
missions if my life depended on it. That is  their job. Mine is to guide and
ask questions that they may not have thought of. I realize that I'm sort of
obsessed on this topic, but please, everyone, keep this in mind as you are
letting each other know how to do things that the kids need to figure out.

Sorry for the diatribe!

Donna Cornett 
Gifted Specialist
Eagle Ridge Middle School
42901 Waxpool Road
Ashburn, VA 20148

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