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I'd like to add a footnote to this conversation if I may. Please don't fret
too much over how much your team does or does participate in the off season.

The teams in FLL compete at all different levels. There are rookie teams
and veteran teams. Some teams can compete at the qualifier-level, some at
the state championship level and some at the World Festival level. They are
ALL great teams.

Please do not compare your teams by how much you participate and how far
you go in FLL. As long as your teams are having fun and learning, your
seasons will be successful.

I am concerned that there might be rookie teams on this listserve who are
reading these comments and *fretting* over how much they are doing with
respect to the other teams in FLL. *Do* *not* *worry*. Do your best this
year and try to learn from the others to prepare for next year. All teams
had to be rookies at one time and they all go through the same growth
process.

Do well, have fun and we'll see you at the tournaments!

Bil

On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 9:09 AM, Anant Narayanan <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> A small correction.  The topic for the following year is released in
> November, not the following May.
>
> As Brandy said, the summer is a great time to get ahead on the research.
> When the official rules come out in the last week of August, some
> fine-tuning will be necessary, but as long as the research was done in
> adequate depth, this should not ordinarily require a restart.
>
> Our teams usually continue on the past season game in the winter term,
> Dec-Mar. (to see how they could have done better) and continue learning new
> skills in the spring term, Apr-Jun (to create new capabilities for the
> following season).
>
> The off-season work is also a great time to preview potential new
> team-members, as good team chemistry is vital to competitive success,
> perhaps even more important that team (knowledge of) physics!
>
> Good luck.
>
> Nari Narayanan
>
>
>
> *---------------------------------------------------------- Anant S
> Narayanan Founder & Executive Director*
>
> *McLean Robotics Institute*
>
>
>
> * McLean VA 22102 202-421-3826 <202-421-3826> (cell)
> [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
> -----------------------------------------------------------*
>
> On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 9:30 PM, B Bergenstock <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> The topic for the year is released in May. To date, they have not put any
>> perimeters on the way the kids can approach the topic so if you know the
>> topic, you can start researching and looking for solutions over the
>> summer.  We found this essential for getting through our year.
>> Aeronia P. offered a nice schedule break down of meetings.
>> Brandy
>>
>> On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 5:29 AM, Fredrik Nyman <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> How do you get your teams working on their research project over the
>>> summer, before the challenge is known?
>>>
>>> Also, for those of you who have school-based teams, do you have your
>>> teams meet and practice year-round, or just during FLL season Sep-Nov?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 10:32 PM, B Bergenstock <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Core values, while it's wonderful to work on with special practices
>>>> that can bring a team together, many teams don't practice this skill. If
>>>> you have a few practices between now and your tournament, start each
>>>> session off or end it in a fun way that helps them work together.  If you
>>>> choose to try it out, just to give them a taste of it, google "instant
>>>> challenge". But you can certainly throw caution to the wind and just let
>>>> them be themselves in the core value room.
>>>>
>>>> We did not have a board the year we got grand Champion, so you don't
>>>> need one to advance. Again, this is for the kids' benefit, but if they feel
>>>> confident speaking then they don't need one in the judging room for robot
>>>> design.  I would still print out a few of their robot missions so they can
>>>> show the judges and talk to them.  They don't have to be mounted to a
>>>> board. We put ours in a notebook that the kids walked into the room with
>>>> the book and opened while they talked about programming.
>>>>
>>>> I do not know if you can advance to state if you are missing a
>>>> component of the tournament?  I feel there is so much to be gained from
>>>> FLL, if this year your team doesn't get the research, definitely try to
>>>> start earlier next year with your team and spend the summer starting the
>>>> research project.  They will have the advantage of focusing on what is
>>>> working well this year and will have a positive association with the
>>>> experience and be more likely to come back. The one thing I hate to see is
>>>> kids driven out by pressure. FLL is great, and everyone can find their
>>>> niche in the FIRST family.   LOL, we did the opposite the first year; we
>>>> were overwhelmed by the robot game and programming and put all our effort
>>>> into the research project. My team was excited at the end of the season,
>>>> and we had 95% return the following year where we got better at the robot
>>>> game. Maybe your team is on the other path :)
>>>> Brandy
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 10:08 PM, Jessica Chittum <
>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I am a total newbie coach here!  Our 10 kids are really working very
>>>>> hard to learn NXT programing, figure out these missions, complete the build
>>>>> for the attachments and complete a project.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed
>>>>> by adding 3 additional tasks of completing project boards for the project,
>>>>> robot and core values.  Are these project boards absolutely crucial or are
>>>>> they optional for teams to show their work?  Thanks very much for your help
>>>>> with this.
>>>>>
>>>>> Jessica
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 8:07 PM, Amy Nichols <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Faith,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> When our kids got ready to create their presentation this year, I
>>>>>> gave them a list of things that needed to go in it...which I took from the
>>>>>> rubrics.  So they do cover everything in the rubrics but it's in the form
>>>>>> of a skit. The list I gave them looked something like:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> *Clearly say what your problem is
>>>>>> *Talk about your sources
>>>>>> *Talk about your research and what you learned
>>>>>> *Explain your solution clearly
>>>>>> *Tell how your solution makes learning _____ better for kids.
>>>>>> *How much will your project cost?
>>>>>> *More imagination the better
>>>>>>
>>>>>> So because they only have 5 minutes, some of these things are covered
>>>>>> pretty briefly in their skit, but the judges will ask questions and let
>>>>>> them expand on it during the question and answer.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> And I agree with Brandy...our kids used their boards to remember the
>>>>>> points they want to make sure to talk about.  Really, the judges can't look
>>>>>> at everything on the board in the time they have (other than when they're
>>>>>> walking around), so it's more a tool for your kids, I think.  We did make a
>>>>>> board for each of the judging sessions, but they only ended up using two of
>>>>>> them.  Having them was very helpful.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Good luck,
>>>>>> Amy Nichols
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   On Monday, October 20, 2014 9:55 AM, B Bergenstock <
>>>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The research often comes in the form of a skit. I have seen projects
>>>>>> from World research winners that looked like board presentation, with the
>>>>>> kids in a line each speaking about their idea and a backboard for more
>>>>>> info.
>>>>>>  The most important thing, no matter what format they use, is that
>>>>>> they be able to get out of all the information they wish to share in the
>>>>>> time allotment- 5 minutes.  I coached a team one year and all the info and
>>>>>> solution was at the end of the presentation, but because the kids went
>>>>>> long, or very lowly in one case, they spent all their time on presenting
>>>>>> the issue and never got to their solution. It wasn't a great plan and while
>>>>>> I had stressed to them about time and we had done the skit many times, I
>>>>>> now just tell the teams, "Nope, you can't back load your solution."
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The function of the presentation board can be varied. It often serves
>>>>>> to make sure kids hit important markers that they carefully thought about
>>>>>> in group, but might forget in their nervousness during or after the
>>>>>> presentation. It also serves to tell teams in the pit area what your team
>>>>>> did for their presentation; Sharing ideas and allowing other adults to ask
>>>>>> question and celebrate their work.  I have seen several very successful
>>>>>> boards that have 1 flap dedicated to each of the area of judging; robot
>>>>>> design, presentation and core values. The teams will bring the board into
>>>>>> each judging room and use it as a prop, sometimes talking about it,
>>>>>> sometimes not- but always having it there as a backup :)
>>>>>> To me, the main purpose of the boards is to help the kids and act as
>>>>>> review of the process when they need it.  Using that as your guide will
>>>>>> help decide what goes on the board.
>>>>>> Good luck,
>>>>>> Brandy
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM, Faith Mcgarrity <
>>>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Looking for some tips on the Project and presentation. Is the skit
>>>>>> supposed to be informational designed to hit all the elements in the
>>>>>> rubric? Like a school presentation. Or should it be a story type of skit
>>>>>> showing our solution?  If the latter will the team have opportunity to fill
>>>>>> in the rest of the elements ( ie the sharing or implementation) after the
>>>>>> skit?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> And what is the function of the presentation board?  To document the
>>>>>> solution?  Or can it incorporate core values experiences and/or robot game
>>>>>> progress?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Thanks for your thoughts!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>>
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