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December 2011

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From:
"Donna L. Cornwell" <[log in to unmask]>
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Date:
Mon, 5 Dec 2011 18:12:35 -0500
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  I like to use the off-season to teach skills.  One year my team really 
wanted to finish and perfect missions that they had worked on for the 
tournament.  They enjoyed doing that, so they just worked through the 
missions.  The next year, they were burned out on the missions after the 
tournament, so I gave them mini-missions to solve.  We were working 
towards having soccer playing robots.  I started with small tasks: kick 
a ball into a goal, then use the light sensor to follow a line to a 
goal, etc.: Our post-season came to an end before we got farther.

I felt that my team needed work on discipline and skills, so I taught 
them again how to calculate the rotations to go a certain distance and 
for various turns ( 45 degree, 90 degree).  I then gave them robot 
specifications and gave them a mission to solve and program.  I built 
the robot myself outside of meetings.  They were not allowed to see 
"MysteryBot" until they had written and shown me their programs.  I did 
this with them early in the season before I would let them design and 
build their robot and tackle the food factor missions.  I think it would 
make a good off-season activity.

Another idea I had was to have everyone purchase a book and work through 
the activities in the book.  My current favorite is Winning Designs for 
Lego Mindstorms NXT.  With a beginner team, I might prefer The 
Unofficial Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0.

Donna Cornwell
[log in to unmask]


On 12/5/2011 5:26 PM, Mary Kendrick wrote:
> Hi all!
>
> Well, brand new coach here - we made it to our first tournament, using it as a
> learning experience for the years to come.  We did fairly well and the team will
> continue to meet throughout the rest of the school year.
>
> Ideas for goals and focus of these meetings is to redesign our robot and work
> on programming the robot to accomplish all missions in Food Factor.
>
> So the question is, how do you vetern coaches run the off-season meetings?
> Do you meet off-season, making it a school-year club?  Any ideas or
> suggestions on how best to use this more relaxed time is GREATLY appreciated!
>
> Thanks so much,
> Mary
> TechnoSharks
>
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