<From the kids' perspective, though, the two things that matter in terms of performance are their robot scores and whether they were given awards. >
To add to that, and I might even put it ahead of both of those items…the kids care about having the judges “actively listen” to them in their presentation and interviews. They love sharing their hard work and what they have learned (even if they are nervous) because that accomplishment is what they will long after remember. If no one seems to listen, they will remember that, too. So please, I’m asking every coach and judge to listen to the team members’ stories, look them in the eye with kindness and ask them questions so they know you are listening. That’s how to really get them excited and inspired to delve further into science and technology and to help them develop their confidence. Team members can do the same for their fellow competitors and they might be pleasantly surprised at what they learn. Everyone can take on the responsibility and play a role in making the day of competition a wonderful experience for all.