· We are a team.
· We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
· We know our coaches and mentors don't have all the answers; we learn together.
· We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
· What we discover is more important than what we win.
· We share our experiences with others.
· We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
· We have FUN!
Whether it is through religion, sports, FLL, scouts, or just teaching “good values,” we all want our kids to be good people and get along with others. Emotional intelligence has been found to have a higher correlation with life satisfaction and success over intellectual intelligence. Whether or not the team scores well at the competition, we certainly enjoy the opportunity to work on helping them become better at working in a team.
That being said, we do want them to put their best foot forward and show how well they are doing at the competition. In order to prepare the team for their core values challenge, we do whole-group challenges regularly so that they can practice working together in the same format they will do at a competition. We debrief after the activities, letting the kids share their perspectives on the experience. We try to offer hints and suggestions on how they might work together more smoothly. We also allow self-discovery and some frustration.
At the competition, the kids will go into a room with the judges and nobody else. No coaches, no parents. They will be asked to perform a task together, which might be impossible by design. They will be given 5 minutes to work together while the judges observe. Then there will be about 10 minutes of Q&A with the judges, about the task they just attempted and the season in general.
The team will have to make a core values trifold display board that has a specific format for the competition. They will bring this with them and may be asked to present it to the judges. We have set up the bulletin board in the format of the trifold for them to start posting ideas. There are four areas that are required for the board: discovery, integration, inclusion, and Coopertition. I have put questions below on each of those four that a judge might ask the kids. You can use these if you would like to have a conversation with your child about the topics. The center and fifth core value is up to the team to choose. Usually teams put up examples of sharing STEM information, team spirit and respect within the team.
DISCOVERY – learning is more important than winning
- What’s the most important thing you learned this season?
- Would you still do FLL if there were no awards? Why?
- What was the most surprising thing you learned this season?
- Which aspect of FLL did your team like best? Why? Least? Why?
- How did your team decide what to do first?
- Describe any struggles your team had.
INTEGRATION – taking what you’ve learned in FLL any applying it to real life
- Tell us what you have learned about FLL and how you think it will help you in the future.
- Name one FLL Core Value and explain how your team uses it in FLL.
- Give me an example of how you use that core value outside FLL.
INCLUSION – gracious professionalism and teamwork
- How does your team get its ideas?
- How does your team decide which ideas to pursue?
- Tell me one thing each person contributed to the team.
- What do you do when you don’t like someone else’s idea?
- What example of gracious professionalism have you seen another team do today?
- If you saw something happening to another team and you thought it wasn’t fair, what would you do and why?
- How is gracious professionalism both like and unlike good sportsmanship?
- Can you give an example of gracious professionalism that your team displayed this season?
- Competitions can be stressful. How did your team prepare each other for the event?
Judges look for:
Confidence and enthusiasm of team members. Concrete descriptions and examples. Whether or not the team members LISTEN to each other, LISTEN to the judges, and whether or not they interrupt each other or the judges. Are they looking at the judges when they speak? Is everyone answering questions or just a few? Do they encourage each other to participate? Does the team look to the coach for direction? (Big no-no.)