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Monday, December 5, 2011

What happens at an FLL scrimmage?

Last Saturday the First Lego League (FLL) team that Spider Droid is on (TheFanatix) hosted a scrimmage in advance of the December 17th regional. It was quite a bit of fun.

The scrimmage was held at the Elgin Tower, the tallest building in Elgin. It's a cool building with a fully dunctional old time elevator manned by an elevator operator. The kids loved that elevator almost as much as the robots they created and programmed. Almost. Thanks again to the Elgin Technology Center (ETC) who let the host team use the facility.

I recently caught up with the coach of the Fanatix and asked her for a little more info on ETC.

While at the scrimmage armed with a camera, an ipod touch and no official capacity, I decided to interview participants, coaches, mentors and parents and give you an idea of what happens at a robotics scrimmage.

I talked to one of the hosts of the event ...

I spoke with a mentor of the fanatix who had participated in a scrimmage before. She told me of some of the personal benefits of a scrimmage.

Team spirit is a big part of FLL it is not uncommon for the team to dress alike. Many teams have custom t-shirts made.

Some can only afford milk jugs
Two of the 5 teams at the scrimmage were rookie teams. Both teams were from the same school. I spoke with one of the parents about what FLL has meant to him so far.

I talked to two members of last years state champion I-Lego Team.

One of the main reasons for the scrimmage is to practice table runs and technical judging in an atmosphere that is as close to competition as possible. At the onset of the scrimmage the coach for the Fanatix explained and demonstrated a bit about how the runs are scored.

The table challenges are based on the theme for the year. This year the theme is Food Factor. What makes FLL unique is that the robots are only part of the competition. Each year every team has to research to a theme related problem and then create a solution and then present that solution in several ways. I will be talking about this in a little more detail in a post later this week when I talk about Ask magazine's December Robotics Issue. In the radio biz, that is what we call a tease. I'm not in the radio biz, but some say I have the perfect face for it. Enough about me, lets get back to the scrimmage.

Here is a clip from one of I-lego's runs. I added the music with the help of youtube. It does have a food related theme.

I talked to members of the HCA Roarbots along with their coach about their experience so far as a rookie team.

Here they are demonstrating some of their program . . .

G2 is another one of the teams that was at the scrimmage. I spoke with their coach.

and his son, a member of G2.

Watching A Practice Run

The Fanatix discuss their technical judging component.

Fll means differen things to different people here is what one of the Fanatix had to say.

I hope you have enjoyed this behind the scenes look at an FLL scrimmage. Hopefully you have discovered like I did that FLL robotics packs in everything . . .

Plus the Kitchen Sink

1 comment:

  1. When is the next one, my kids would really love it.


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