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Thank you all for your responses.  You largely validated my gut feel and I've got some ideas to discuss with them about how they can make sure they hit the rubric points and explain where the math got a little beyond them.  I agree with the general sentiment that this is all about the journey, not the destination.  I will say that this project is the most interesting one that we've done in our 5 years.

Good luck to everyone at the regional tournaments!

-Frank Levine


On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 2:27 PM Lord Of The Bricks <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I am the coach of Lord of the Bricks, and this is our 8th year competing.  My advice is to just pay it all out there!  Not every project actually involves a design.  Take a look at the judging rubric to get more information/understanding of what the judges are looking for; even the "Solution Development" portion of the rubric's Exemplary category simply includes "Implementation considered."  No one is expecting these kids to be NASA, for sure!  I would suspect that simply having a solid idea of what would be needed to develop the process more fully would show that the team has researched the problem in depth enough to know what would NEED to be done next.  Thinking back to the years that we've won, it has generally been the depth of the research that has pushed it over the top.

If it's something they are passionate about, they should really continue digging into the problem on a longer-term scale.  Many teams have done this, and gone on the patent and/or develop their ideas.  Additionally, they should consider tackling the FLL Innovation Challenge in the Spring!

On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 1:43 PM Frank Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I have a coaching question for the group and I'd be interested to hear some perspectives from current and former coaches.

My team has opted to tackle a very difficult, and currently unsolved problem this year.  They learned about this problem when they interviewed their expert sources and decided to give it a shot.  I'm all for tackling hard problems.

What's happened since then is that they have done a ton of research.  I feel like they understand the problem very well and I've been working with them about how to articulate what they've learned.  

Their 'solution' to the problem is much more theoretical than we've done in previous years.  Due to the nature of the problem, they can't really build or test anything without a NASA sized budget.  Once of the keys to their solution involves some college level electrical engineering knowledge that they don't have.  They know what they want to do, but they lack the tools to be able to do the calculations to figure out the particulars of the design.

As a coach, how should I coach them through this?  My gut says that they should just lay it out there for the judges and hope they appreciate the difficulty of the problem, but I'd hate for them to get low marks on their project for not having a rigorous design.  I could find an Electrical Engineer to help them with the calculations, but I feel like that goes against the 'kids do the work'.

Thoughts?

Frank Levine


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--
Shari Robinson
Head Coach
Lord of the Bricks Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge Team 7039
FIRST Lego League Team 9076
Jr. FIRST Lego League Team 933

RichTech 2017 Finalist - Innovation in Education Award


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Twitter: @LordoftheBricks


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