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December 2008

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From:
Nicholas Duan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Nicholas Duan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 22:52:28 -0500
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I can't agree more, considering the fact that about half of the awards/trophies were given to adults, not kids.  If I was a young child, waiting in the hallway and going though the closing ceremony after a long day would be very tiring, and there isn't much value-added in the spirit of FLL and learning.  If I was a kid, I'd like to have fun and more excitement at the closing ceremony:

1. Skip the team intro entirely (we could save at least an hour).  Let the kids enter the gym freely, play some dance music (just like the closing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics).  It's party time!  

2. Give awards only to kids, not adults.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't recognize the contribution of our volunteers, but this may not be the right time.  We may find another way to give out the volunteer awards, for instance, having a party for adults/volunteers/parents/coaches the night before.  Or hosting a parent/coach conference for exchanging ideas in coaching/judging/parenting, while the kids were doing their activities.

3. After announcing the winners, have each one do a live presentation to the whole audience, and have the judges providing comments on the uniqueness of each winner.  This will give our kids another opportunities to learn, and also eliminate any doubts about fairness of the judging process.

FLL is all about kids getting interested and learning science and technology.  If we could focus on this goal, coaching/judging/running the championship will become much simpler and easier...

Nick

----- Original Message -----
From: Rakesh Bahadur <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:19 pm
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] FW: [VADCFLL-CHAMPIONSHIP-L] Judging feedback sheets

> 
> 
> Let me share my observations as a rookie coach. 
> 
> 
> 
> FLL need to de-emphasise award giving and put more emphasis on 
> learning. As long as awards are given at the end of the 
> tournament, winning will be the major driver of participation. In 
> FLL spirit (all about having fun and not about winning), just give 
> only two awards, one for div 1 champi on and othe r for div 2 
> champion. 
> 
> 
> 
> Robotics and FLL is all about science and engineering. For 
> anything to be scientific, it must be quantifiable and verifiable. 
> Judgement at regional and state FLL tournament (team work, 
> project, design) does not meet that criteria. A quantitative 
> criteria will be always preferred over a qualitative one. 
> 
> 
> 
> FLL should decide 
> 
> 
> 
> 1. Whether it wants to  stay in the realm of sound science or soft 
> science. 
> 
> 2. What  it wants to stand for?  L earning by the teams or 
> competing parents/coaches. 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Rakesh 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Rusty West" <[log in to unmask]> 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 11:11:48 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada 
> Eastern 
> Subject: [VADCFLL-L] FW: [VADCFLL-CHAMPIONSHIP-L] Judging feedback 
> sheets 
> 
> 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 
> frustrated. 
> 
> 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 
> Cornett 
> 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 
> 571-252-2140 
> 
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> 
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> FLL administrative announcements will be distributed - visit 
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> "Join or leave the list".
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 

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