Mock Judging the Dots

Since the beginning of this year’s FLL season, we have been mentoring our coach’s second-year team The Dots. The week before their first qualifying competition, we had an hour long mock judging session with them to go through all three judging categories (project, robot, and core values).

The first one we ran through was project. As The Dots ran through their presentation, we learned a lot about fishing lures and how they are damaging to the environment. They showed us their solution, which is an edible and biodegradable lure manufactured so it isn’t damaging to the lakes and fish that eat them. We ended the judging session with very few questions and we were impressed by how thorough their experiments and research were.

Next was technical judging. The team talked us through each of their runs, including the composter, retrieving the valuables, and transporting the truck. They also described how they use a wall follower and various landmarks around the board to stay on track. Our main advice to them was, if they continued on in the competition, to keep experimenting with sensors and find places to use them to guarantee consistency. We also pulled a couple of the boys aside for a quick programming run-through.

Technical judging

Programming judging

Lastly, at their coach’s suggestion, a few members of our team did a core values exercise to show an example to the Dots. We channeled our best creativity to use random junk to transport six golf balls across a table. Then, when it was the Dots’ turn, we judged them on how they did after watching our example. They focused on being positive and giving encouragement to all team members. Overall, it was a very successful night and we look forward to seeing the Dots compete on Saturday!

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