Hi Frank,

 

Heather and Fredrik have made some very good points.  If you are looking for a judge’s perspective, the team would be disqualified for awards during either the core value or robotic design session when they mentioned that the coach build the robot (even the base robot).  Heather has pointed out a key rule that "kids do the work".  The judges take it very seriously.

 

Fredrik has given the best advice in that they should be able to build the basic robot using the instruction that comes with the kit.  If too many kids cannot decide on the base robot (too many cooks in the kitchen), just assign it to one or two of the kids to accomplish this task.  It doesn’t have to be the super robot design to win at the robot games.  It is all about the attachments and the programs to solve the missions.  You can definitely help them to debug the programs, pointing out what wrong with their robot design and attachments.  You can definitely show them how to write the point turn and swing turn programs, and they can put it together themselves on how to accomplish a mission.  You can show them how the robot arms are put together, and how a forklift work by simply using a plastic fork.  Kids are creative and they will fit the pieces of the puzzle together.  We want them to experiments and find out for themselves what work and what not.  

 

Just take a look at those kids from Scitobor and Kilmer.  It was not until their third year that they made it to State, and even at State they made mistakes of running too many missions that would not fit into the 2.5 minute time window.  It was okay since they have learned a lot from FLL.  Some of the kids in those early FLL days are now in MIT, Harvard, etc.  It’s good for the kids to make mistakes at this early stage, learn from it, and excel.

 

Please remember “What we discover is more important that what we win.”

 

Best,

Curt

 

 

From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Fredrik Nyman
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 6:28 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Robot Design for Rookies

 

I agree with Heather that the answer will vary.

 

How old are the kids?  

Are they a rookie team?

Do they practice year-round or just the ~10 weeks between the start of the school year and the VA/DC regional qualifiers?  

How much equipment does the team have?

 

My teams are rookies, made up from 4th- and 5th graders (i.e. 10 year olds).  One robot set (base + expansion) per team.  

They meet once a week starting two weeks ago and will keep going until the November qualifiers. 

 

This year I had the teams start with the basic robot from the printed instructions that come in every Lego Education EV3 base kit.  

As the season progresses, they will be modifying/improving their robots, and by November I fearlessly predict that each team will have a completely unique robot which will bear little resemblance to what they started with.

 

For my teams and their circumstances, this seems to work fairly well so far.  They will spend their remaining practice time split between building attachments and making other improvements to their robots, programming them, and working on their projects.  

 

 

 

 

 

On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 11:59 PM, Frank Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all,

  I was wondering where the line is between 'kids do the work' vs 'starter robot' is?  I have seen several suggestions (both here and on the interwebs) that this/that robot is a great robot for rookies, etc.  While my team has been trying to make a decent robot from scratch, I have taken many of the suggestions that I have seen from the internet and made what I think is a decent driving base.  Is it appropriate to hand that base over to the rookies and let them go from there?  Will the judges frown on a coach doing some of the initial legwork to get a base started?  What's the difference between that and finding a starting base on-line?  Ideally I would love to see them make it from scratch, but today's building session has me thinking that this may be a bit of a stretch.

 

Thanks,

Frank Levine

"The Construction Mavericks"

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