I will echo Phil’s comments in so far as I would look to find a way to do the project presentation without depending on projector.   I might try to guide them towards a low tech version with say flash boards instead of digital slides.  I have seen that work well in the past. 

On the time side I would err on the side of assuming your 5 minutes starts the moment you walk in the door. Most judges will give you some leeway on time but if you start getting into minutes 6 or 7 they may just stop the team to begin asking questions.  In my 5 years of judging I have only seen it happen once or twice.  

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 13, 2017, at 5:39 PM, Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

First, a disclaimer: events vary slightly, despite best efforts. But here’s how it’s always worked, at least at tournaments I’ve participated in.


1)     A room slot is scheduled as 16 minutes. That’s nominally 1 minute to get in, 5 minutes of presentation, 5 minutes of questions, and 5 minutes for the judges to confer and work on their notes. Some judges may let a team run a bit long; some are very strict. So don’t plan on more than 10 minutes *total*, including setup. I say this because things happen, and with dozens of teams and events (7 per team: 4 table runs, 3 judging), it’s just not possible to let things move around much. So if you run long on setup, it is likely to come out of your presentation time.

2)     I think the above answers this too, right? I’d add that the kids will be excited and whatever they do is going to run long, not short—so don’t time it to the second, because then they *will* run over.

3)     You cannot expect the room to have a projector or screen. A PowerPoint is not something I particularly recommend, as it’s fraught with risk of technology issues, and is in any case difficult for the judges to grok.

4)     You can bring one, but that’s more setup time. You cannot predict where power etc. will be, so that’s more risk. If they’re Div II, then the judges might expect them to do setup, too.


In four years of coaching the original Capital Girls and 11 years of running judging at tournaments since, I’d have to say I’ve seen the most successful teams use skits or other forms of presentation. Of course it’s the team’s decision, not yours or mine; if they’re bent on PPT, I might nudge them to come up with a hybrid, with the judges and kids each getting a copy of the slides and the kids presenting them/acting them out.


Hope this helps!


Phil Smith III


Coach, The Capital Girls (retired)

Team 1900 (2002)

Team 2497 (2003)

Team 2355 (2004)

Team 1945 (2005)


From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nishi Sharma
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 4:41 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Project Presentation Questions


Some questions/clarifications that I have regarding the Project Presentation:


1. For Div II participants, is the project presentation time still total of 5 minutes ?

    Or, is it 5 minutes for problem description and then 5 minutes for the innovative solution description ...? What is the total time allowed for the kids to present whatever material , show, and posters they bring for Div II ? 


2. When does the time count, as soon as the students enter the room ? 


3. The team has created a PowerPoint Presentation, however we do not know whether the room has a projector with screen to present the PowerPoint ? Will the participants be allowed enough time to find and connect the cables, and ensure the laptop screen project on the screen available in the room ?


4. Are the students allowed to bring a projector of their own ? If they bring the projector, how will they know beforehand where the power socket would be and whether the cables connecting the laptop to the projector and the projector power cable will be long enough ?

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