I have coached 4 teams, 2 teams did very well and 2 teams did not. As the season went along I could tell pretty quickly how the teams would do.
I think it is very important to the kids and to the coaches that the kids have some idea where they stand at the end of the day. If the kids have worked hard throughout the season that will likely show up as a good result in at least one area. Likewise if the kids have pretty much goofed around all season that will show up as well.
I think both lessons are important. I think the FLL is very good at rewarding hard work without over emphasizing winning.
Two ideas that I thought merit consideration are:
1. Teams bringing videos of their project and showing them on the big screen during the competition. Totally optional of course but I bet a lot of kids would like to see themselves on the big screen. If a winning team has brought a video that could be shown during the break before awards are given.
2. Some type of grouping of the other results. Maybe show the top ten teams in each category. If a team has not done well one year, getting in the top ten would be a great goal for the next. If a team worked hard on their project but didn't win an award, a top ten finish would still be a big big positive to build on.
Keep up the great work. Its great to see such passion about science.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Fenneran" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 5:28:29 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Tournament Scoring
I've been following this conversation with great interest. I am a
first-year coach, but have been familiar with FLL for a couple of years
On the one hand, I understand the goal and ideal of wanting the kids to
feel proud of thier work, no matter their ranking at the tournament. I
also understand that the three interview scores are a mix of objecive
(based on the rubriks) and subjective (based on how the judges liked the
presentation) and that makes "scoring" a bit difficult, especially with
the idea that one team would not win more than one category.
That being said, this is a competition. If it weren't, we would not have
awards for the best <fill in the blank> for the day. (IE: best teamwork,
best technical, etc). At the end of the day, each team does, in fact,
have a "score" for each element of the day. While two or more teams may
score the same, for example, in the objective aspects of the research
presentation, the judges end up scoring them differently from a subjective
point of view to be able to pick an ultimate winner.
In my opinion, it would be helpful to know where my team ranked in the
pile. If we did not win the teamwork award, were we second best? Were we
in the middle of the pack? We we dead last? That helps us to evaluate
our performance in light of both the objective goals (which we should know
if we met or not) and the subjective presentation to the judging team.
If we are dead last, sure, the kids will feel a little bad, but then its
our job as coaches to turn those feelings into a motivation to learn from
what we did and get better.
It just seems to me that treating it as both a competition, but
sort-of-kind-of-not-really a competition by not revealing how they did
compared to the rest of the day's teams sends a mixed message. My gut
tells me this is why this comes up as a topic of discussion each year.
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