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Here is the full email regarding the merit badge system, for your reference.

Thanks for forwarding.

Katherine



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: [VADCFLL-L] Wise coaching
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 19:57:42 -0500
From: Kilmer Fll <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]


Hello. I believe this is the e-mail reguarding the "Merit Badge" system you were requesting.


Jennifer,

I don't have an answer to your question since every team is unique and
different but I can share what works for my girls team.  To get my teams to
try and learn new things, I borrowed from Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts.
These organizations have been developing youth for over 100 years and have
effective techniques.  Both organizations use badges to encourage and reward
developing new skills.  I leveraged this technique and developed over 30
different robotics badges.  Each badge has requirements and in some cases
links to our summer workshop, starting point posters, team notebook and
robot challenges.  For example, here are the requirements for earning the
line following badge.  Note, we have a line following poster and other
reference material available.

1. Discuss the following with your coach:
        a. What is line following?
        b. How does line following work?
        c. What are three types of line following?
        d. What do you need to consider when placing light sensors?
        e. Why calibrate a light sensor?
        f. Why use line following?
2. Calibrate a light sensor.
3. Do one of the following:
        a. Option 1: Complete the Mr. T Challenge (page 7 in program section
of team notebook).
        b. Option 2: Program a robot to follow a line.
        c. Option 3: Program a robot to follow a curved line.
4. Explain the line following program you created in requirement 3 to your
team.

As the team earns badges, they stick them on their team notebook.  The
badges are not just focused on robot design, they encompass all aspects of
FLL.  As the coach, I award the badges once the requirements are met with
the exception of the Team Spirit and Supporter Badges.  These badges can be
award by other team members and there is no limit to how many you can earn.
In my experience, I have found the badges to be a great technic for
motivating learning and developing advanced programming skills. Once my team
members understand a technic or skill, they figure out how to apply it to
missions.

To supplement the badges, we leverage the EDGE Method from Boy Scouts
(Education, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable).  Using the line following
example, we have a line following starting point poster that may be
beneficial for your team.

All the badges and supporting material are available for free on my blog,
www.fllstartingpoint.com.  I use 1 1/2 inch circle labels printed on a color
printer.   The specific blog post on this approach is at
http://www.fllstartingpoint.com/?p=466.

I hate to admit it but we also use candy.  We have a candy drawer and when
the team completes a challenge or makes progress, they get to pick from the
candy drawer.  It is a great motivator.


Thank You,
Team Positive Aftermath #6371
Aaraj, Alex, Vishnu, Siona, Sanjana, and Zach


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jennifer Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Wise coaching
To: [log in to unmask]


Haha, love the pizza idea.  In all seriousness, thank you for all the suggestions coming my way. 

To clarify, we are considering FTC next.  We have a NXT robot, and were using the B/W sensor.  I have gotten some tips on using the light sensor.

Jennifer


-----Original Message-----
From: James H. Garner <[log in to unmask]>
To: VADCFLL-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 10:44 am
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Wise coaching

Jennifer,
 
Good morning.  In my experience (3yrs) you can only expose them to knew ideas and let them decide.  My Div II team is using the EV3 as an NTX.  They haven't even begun to explore all the expanded capability of the EV3 even though we spent two meetings going over the possiblities.  If nothing else, after the tournament have them build a different bot to complete the same challenges using different sensors and compare.
 
I also recommend having some pizza.  Greatly learning always happens with pizza.
 
v/r,
 
james 
-----Original Message-----
From: Fredrik Nyman <[log in to unmask]>
To: VADCFLL-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 6:55 am
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Wise coaching

Check out page 46 in the EV3 programming guide linked to from the FLL
coach/team resource page:
http://www.firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/TeamResources/NaturesFury/2013EV3Programming.pdf

That page shows you how to make a line follower using the EV3 color sensor.

If your team uses the NXT, then look at page 35 the NXT programming
guide instead:
http://www.firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/TeamResources/SeniorSolutions/2012Programming1.pdf

I have found these demo programs thoroughly useful.  The kids love
seeing the robot follow the line, and when they see the robot behaving
intelligently, that really helps getting them to start thinking about
what other things the robot could decide for itself.

On Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 11:39 PM, Jennifer Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I am wondering the best coaching method.  I could ramble on about "on the
> other hand" quite a bit, but I'll try to keep it short.  How do you motivate
> learning?
>
> I coach and I have an engineer mentor helping out.  This is our third year,
> and his opinion all season has been if the kids want to accomplish a lot,
> they have the ability to look things up for themselves.  They are all over
> 12 years old except one.  I concurred, but now that we're getting close to
> the end, I'm rethinking.
>
> My boys want to use only move blocks.  As this may be our last year, I'd
> like to branch out and use a sensor (light).  They are sure that move blocks
> using rotations are the best.  Ideally I would like to run tests to gauge
> both, but I can't make the light sensor work myself.  And there's not much 
time.
>
> Should I force the issue and make them stretch giving them the final say, or
> do I let them do the same old thing?  Do we waste lots of time angling and
> adjusting degrees, or do we plow through until we learn how to make the
> sensor work going on my word that it will be more accurate?
>
> I know it's supposed to be team driven, the kids do the work, but is there a
> way to challenge them and it still be fun?  They seem to be in a rut.
>
> Thanks,
> Jennifer
>
>
>
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