Tuesday, October 2, 2012

FLL - Senior Solutions: FLL Guide to Success...

A FIRST LEGO League Challenge Guide to Success
(For Rookie coaches & even Veterans)
V. “LeGo-Bots Lady” Greene

Overview: What to Keep in Mind
      It’s about the learning process & having fun!

     Don’t stress about learning the programming – There are good tutorials:

There will also be excellent workshops & clinics at NYU - Polytechnic Institute check:
Emphasize the importance of the commitment by team members & their parents; making the practices & being available for the Qualifier Tournament & the Finals. Send a letter home about practice/tournament dates & times, for the team members & their parents to sign. Also, send reminders home of upcoming events. Solicit the help of parents & colleagues at practices and/or tournaments (and be sure to express your appreciation for their support) Let the kids become the experts! Remember this is a kid project; you are there for teaching skills, support, & guidance – encourage & ask thought provoking questions to help them come up with their own solutions to the challenges.

Getting Started
      Explanation of what the competition is about and the various awards.
      Viewing of the FIRST Compilation DVD & General Guide to the FLL Project.
      What is this year’s theme?
      What’s in the kit? 
      Learning & identifying the parts of the kit. Setting up some sort of organization of the parts.

Field Set Up
      What is this year’s challenge? View the robot challenge/game on the internet.
      Group team members in pairs & assign field set up building.
      Team discussion/brainstorming of ideas of how the tasks on the field can be accomplished 
         (someone can take notes). Print out copies of the Rules from the website & Rubrics from the online Robot Game & Project Guide: http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2012seniorsolutions
      If you are building the tabletop (not absolutely necessary, but nice if you can), the Table Construction specifications are in the online Robot Game & Project Guide

Research Project
      Print out the Research Project topic from the online Robot Game & Project Guide 
      Have all members of the team do some initial research on the topic and share what information they found & resources.
      Team discussion/brainstorming of ideas of what the team would like to do for their project.
      Consult the experts on the topic – Internet, agencies, etc.
     Give your research presentation pizzazz!

Robot Challenge - Game Performance
      If possible, have more than one NXT robotics kit – one-per/3-4 kids. Design different models.  
        Be aware of the Equipment Rules, see the online Robot Game & Project Guide or http://roboticrealm.blogspot.com/2012/09/fll-senior-solutions-update-on-robot.html
     Introduce the use of sensors, simple programming for the sensors, & motors. Have the team discuss & design robots specifically for the challenge.
    An easy free download LEGO Digital Designer is available @ http://ldd.lego.com/default.aspx for designing robots & attachments.
    Then have the team decide on the best robot to accomplish the missions & make a duplicate.
    Discussion of the missions on the field:
         What needs to be accomplished?
         What attachments or sensors are needed?
         What missions can be combined together?
         Have the students work in pairs or threes, with each group being responsible for a mission or group of missions. 
       Identify specialties, who are the main robot designers, builders, programmers, & handlers (the members who will go to the tables at the tournament) are, although all should be able to have input in any area.
      The Robot Handlers work in pairs: one controls the robot and the other is the “spotter” who helps put on attachments & removes objects in base out of the way. The team can have 1-3 pairs of handlers for the different rounds. Usually, there are 3 rounds. The highest score of all the rounds is used to determine place.

Robot Awards - Design/Programming/Strategy & Innovation
      Identify the 2 members who will present the robot to the judges for the Robot Awards. They will have to demonstrate the robot, explain the attachments & use of sensors, programming (Printouts of programming would be useful) & what strategies/innovations were use in deciding & performing the missions.

Core Value Awards - Inspiration/Teamwork/Gracious Professionalism
       The team will be given a brief challenge activity to work out i.e. represent an object without verbally communicating. They will explain to the judges the Core Values & how they worked together to tackle the challenge. Team spirit & enthusiasm. 

      During the competition judges may be walking around to see what the teams have or are doing in their Pits. 
      Spice it Up! Team T-shirts, caps, costumes, etc. Signs. Bookmarks & flyers about your Research Project.
      A Cheering squad - Have students, teachers, parents come to the tournaments.

Champion’s Award
       Robot Awards 25%, Robot Performance 25%, Project Presentation 25%, Core Values 25%

Go to: http://firstlegoleague.org/event/judging to printout the rubrics for the Research Project, Core Values, and Robot Design

Consent Forms
      Each member attending each tournament must bring a FIRST Consent Form. This will be available online to download.

Team Information Form
      Fill out one form per team & bring it to the tournament. This will be available online to download.

Stay informed! Check weekly
       Game Clarifications & Rules Update webpage: http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/robotgameupdates
         See also:
         www.normsrobotics.blogspot.com - Calendar, Challenge & tournament info.
         www.roboticrealm.blogspot.com - Calendar, Challenge building & programming tips.

Practice, Practice, Practice
      3 Weeks before the Qualifier - Pretend to be at the tournament – go through what will be done: Robot Performance 2.5 minutes.  Robot Design 5 minutes; Research Project 5 minutes; Judges’ interview of the for Core Values Awards 5 minutes.

V-Day – Qualifier & Finals
       Bring consent forms, a kit for repairs & enhancements, robot(s) (if you have more than one kit,  build & program two identical robots in case something happens to one & you don’t have time for major repairs), robot charger, Research Project materials, laptop & charger, power strip, extension cord.
        Lunch, snacks, and/or money for food.

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