Week 7 - I'm In Heaven!

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FLL Awards Ceremony
Photo Credit: www.firstlegoleague.com
Week 7 of the FLL season means the end is in sight and the team needs to focus on preparing for their first local practice tournament in a week or two's time.
As the first local practice tournaments approach it is a good idea for the coach and the team to review their objectives for upcoming tournaments.  As a team, make final adjustments to your goals so that you know what you need to achieve in the last weeks.  Discuss expectations for your tournament. Remember, even the tournament experience is about discovery and fun!
  • Check each mission model from the field kit is built correctly from the build instructions found on http://www.firstlegoleague.org and that the practice table, mat and field kit missions are setup correctly so there are no surprises when you get to the tournament. 
  • Download and review again the Challenge document from http://www.firstlegoleague.org.
  • Review the Robot Game information (from the Challenge document) with your team. Make sure veryone  understands all  the requirements and rules.  You may want everyone to watch the Overview video of the 2014 World Class Challenge Robot Game & Missions (~8 mins).  Have one or two team members or paretns act as quality control to make sure requirments and scoring conditions are met during practice.
  • Review again the Project description (from the Challenge document) with your team. Watch the Overview video of the 2014 World Class Challenge Project (~5 mins) with the team. Has the team met all the requirements for the project? 
  • Review the eight Core Values with your team. Work together to understand each one.  Watch the Overview of FLL Core Values video (~ 1:15 mins)  with the team. 
  • Download the judges' Rubrics and review with the team so they have a good understanding of what judges will be looking for from thier Project, Robot Design and Core Values presentations.  Share these with the parents so they can emphasize what the judges are looking for each element of the FLL Challenge.
  • Download and review the list of awards offered at FLL tournaments so the team knows where to focus for success and recognition.
Core Values
  • There are multiple formats for Core Values judging.  Regardless of what judging format your event will use,
    it is always a good idea for your team members to prepare some examples of how they demonstrated
    the Core Values throughout the season. These might be about each team member individually, a few team
    members together, or about the whole team. Have team members take turns telling about these examples in front of the group, and ask other children to give feedback. Remember to keep the feedback constructive. Team
    members should be especially careful about displaying the Core Values when providing Core Values feedback!
  • Practice having the team discuss the 8 Core Values, individual roles, team goals and stories about how they have incorporated some of the core values in their team meetings or daily life.
  • Among other criteria the rubrics encourage teams to:
    • Embrace discovery and all three aspects of FLL (Core Values, Project, and Robot Game) in a balanced way.
    • Develop a clear team identity and find ways to engage others in your team’s enthusiasm and fun.
    • Find ways to apply FLL Core Values and skills in daily life.
    • Define clear goals and develop processes to help them problem solve and make clear decisions as a team.
    • Use team talents and time wisely.
    • Take responsibility and operate as a team with minimal Coach guidance.
    • Balance and appreciate contributions from all team members.
    • Always act and speak with integrity so that others feel respected and valued.
    • Actively cooperate with other teams and embrace the spirit of friendly competition.
Robot Game
  • Focus on meeting all of the team's robot-related goals (most of the time).
  • Run timed practice matches so the team gets used to how long a 150 second robot round is and can practice changing robot attachments.
  • Teams must participate in all elements of an FLL competition (including the Robot Game as well as Core
    Values, Robot Design, and Project judging) in order to be eligible for any FLL Core Values Award.
  • Share your team’s Project with people who could benefit from the chosen solution.
  • Hold practice tournament presentations with a timer. Make sure team members can set up and present in 5 minutes with no adult help.
  • Double check that the presentation addresses everything listed on the Project Rubric.
  • Have team members practice answering questions about their problem and solution.
  • During their 5 minute Project presentation, the team must clearly demonstrate to the judges that they completed all required Project steps: they identified a real-world problem, created an innovative solution, and shared their findings with others. In addition, they must show that any other Challengespecific requirements from this season’s Project description were met.
  • Remember, the judges can only evaluate what they hear; in other words, team members must tell the judges how they completed each required Project step during the presentation in order to receive credit. The second half of each Project judging session is devoted to a question and answer interview. Judges will ask teams about how they selected and defined the problem they chose to study. They will want to hear about the research process and sources your team used to analyze the problem and existing solutions. Judges
    will want to learn about the team’s innovative solution and how it has the potential to make life better. They will want to know that the team considered what would be needed to make their idea a reality. In addition, they
    will want to understand how the team shared their ideas with others prior to the tournament and how those people might benefit from the team’s idea.
Posted by David McQuiggan on Oct 21, 2014 7:00 PM Europe/London

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Blog for coaches and mentors of FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) robotics teams competing in the 2014/2015 "World Class: Learning Unleashed" global challenge.

FLL is a global robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds (9 to 14 in US/CAN/MEX), which is designed to get children excited about science and technology. FIRST has an active FLL Twitter account, FLL blog, and YouTube channel. If you're part of these networks make sure you follow/subscribe.  

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