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One thing that has worked well for our team is sharing suggestions by e-mail in between meetings, and then letting the kids "discuss" there ideas and proposals by e-mail.  This gives all of the kids a voice, so one dominant team member doesn't necessarily take over as can happen in person.  We also ask a lot of questions, again being deferential to the kids, but ask them to think through the practicalities of various ideas, and how they would play out in terms of the project/presentation, etc.
 
Good luck!!

--- On Mon, 10/4/10, Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


From: Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] project topic
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, October 4, 2010, 10:18 PM


Should you care?  Well that is a big question that only you can answer.

You need to consider your team's goals.  What are the trying to accomplish,
how mature are they, can you push them to grow?

Also some teams just can't be advanced beyond a certain point each year.

But if you want to try to take them to the next level, ask then to
study the project rubric
and evaluate the teams' choices against the rubric.  This can get them
thinking in categories

presentation, research, sharing etc.

Which ideas can best acheive the rubric.

Some teams struggle with this.  Some can't think very categorically
but some can. And all of them
grow their critical reasoning skills when stretched this way.


But also they need to have fun. So balance it.

Isn't being a coach fun?

Eric Palmer
team 1740 TNBI



On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 10:06 PM, Laura Dysart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> We had a contact with the head of a bio-medical engineering department at
> VCU- he came and spoke to our team  and shared all kinds of great recent
> innovations and ideas for exploration- they learned a lot no matter what- we
> have one student with a super sci- fi mind who including last year wants to
> do something super abstract- the team voted on his idea over something more
> concrete and doable-  and I think that is all good- and it is their
> assignment- and their decision- has anyone else struggled with the choosing
> of more sci- fi topics that end up very difficult to prove would be
> possible?   thought a couple students had some concrete projects that were
> very applicable and would make an immediate difference- but it got nixed by
> the larger group (less exciting)-  I know it's all them- just feels like a
> second season of extremely abstract- harder to do.....I have asked a lot of
> questions.. I guess I am really asking if anyone else is struggling and
> should i even care? we have a dominant one with imagination that answers
> questions very authoritatively and don't want to come across as discouraging
> him as I ask questions?  Thanks- LD
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