Dear Coaches of Championship Tournament qualified teams:
First, allow me to congratulate your team and you – the first part of the mission has accomplished and you are now on the way to the grand finale as old-saying “until fat lady sings”.
You may be aware I created an hour-long DVD movie based on 2006 State Tourney titled "Capturing the Excitement of the Tournament Day – First Lego League Virginia 2006". chapter 1 “Let’s Meet the Teams” interviewed teams at the pit area, chapter 2 “It’s Time for the Matches” recorded the Robot Match covering many teams' performance, chapter 3 “Show Me the Robots” showed the great encore performance in very close distance, chapter 4 “And the Champions Are” covered Award Ceremony, and chapter 5 was the slide-show of the award-winning teams. I gave away over 100 copies of the DVD upon the requests from coaches / mentors within VADCFLL Community in 2007.
This time I'd work on a similar project but will focus in the pit area – make video based on the conversation and interviews with participating teams there on project, robot design, performance and team spirit.
It will be a people's project :-)) – I have presented the idea to the VADCFLL leadership. The response neither endorses nor opposes the proposed idea and plan.
Before you raise any concern, please wait to hear me out –
- The process will comply with the tournament rules, and activities will be within the legal consent that teams agrees through the team release form - I’ll conduct the interviews and shoot video only in pit area or audience sitting area, and obtain the nod from each team that will present in the video prior to interview them or shoot a video footage on them, preferably making the arrangement before the tournament weekend.
- I promise to make best effort to avoid being intrusive or disruptive – I totally understand every team must focus on the Robot Design Interview and Robot Performance Matches on Sunday. I also understand my request for interviewing a team has no bonus to its competition activities. It shouldn’t introduce negative impact to team's performance. I will work with and work around each team’s schedule – even if a team granted me in advance for the interview and late turned out has no time for it, I totally okay with that. I believe when a team has intention to contribute to the project it has demonstrated plenty “Gracious Professionalism”!
I don’t have to do it alone – we could practice FLL teamwork spirit and skill on this video project and “divide & conquer” the tasks! I will be happy to team up with other adult volunteers to plan and implement the project. Also, I prefer to get at least one local MS or HS student who is or was a FLLer herself/himself to act as an “Anchor”, "Interviewer" or "Reporter" – the student narrates the event, talks to the teams on the projects, robot design, cheer with them. I can contribute on the directing/recording /editing, but completely staying behind the scene. I have purchased the equipment and I’ll handle the technical detail.
I firmly believe this project will benefit the general public in VADC FLL community in its unique way. The video will be particularly attractive to the children who will participate in FLL activity in future because it is “kids talk to kids about the amazing FLL Challenge”!
Now, the bottom line is no matter what I say, I don’t know that the proposed project is welcome by the FLL teams that will participate in the state tournament. After all, if no team wants to support the project, it goes nowhere.
Therefore, I’m here asking the coaches of the teams qualified for the championship tournament - after you have read what it is about, would you poll your team (parents and kids) to see if they are interested in participate in “performing” in this video project?
You don’t have to write a detail comment back, you may simply let me know which answer your team decides to choose among following three -
A - I don't think it is a good idea. (Or the parents of the team have concern). I or other parents of the team wouldn't support it. Sorry.
B - It sounds like a good idea and generally our team would support it. But I don't think my team will have time for it. So I cannot grant an interview for you even if it will be only for as little as 5 minutes.
C - The proposed project benefits children in VA DC who may be interested in FLL activity and it is a good exercise on Gracious Professionalism for our team. My team decides to support it. And since On Sunday it will be from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm for the 5 (one robot design interview and 4 rounds of robot match) official competition events, we may find a time slot for the interview although I cannot guarantee it.
I look forward to hearing from many teams. Thanks.
My history with FLL – I coached or mentored FLL teams from 04 to 07 and the teams were rewarded many regional and state awards including 2005 division I Director’s Award (Championship Award at the time) and 2007 division II robot performance award (2nd place). This year I held 2 workshops in Fairfax City Library to help out new coaches, I held a few of “clinic session” for the schools and rookie teams, and I mentored a neighborhood team in the technical area (although the team was only selected as an alternate team at the Smithsonian tournament but the kids said they learnt a lot through the Challenge). And I enjoyed very much at TJHSST tournament as a Robot Design Judge for the division II teams.