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We are attending the annual offseason FIRST Robotics Competition event, the Battle O’ Baltimore. At this event, we will be giving three different training sessions: FIRST LEGO League EV3 Programming, FIRST LEGO League FLL Project and FIRST Tech Challenge Connections, Configurations and Coding. Below are details and summaries of each of our three trainings.
FLL 6 out of the 25 people that signed up attended. The teams and coaches who attended were either rookies or coaches with no programming experience, so we helped primarily with the basics (primarily connections). We went on to moving the robot and turning. We also discussed more advanced ways of doing these. We also discussed the underlying behaviors of the EV3 brick, which was especially useful for returning coaches who had no idea why their robots were acting weird in their last season.
FLL Jr. The coaches and parents at this session were very engaged as we presented and asked specific questions about the presentation and how to conduct research effectively. It was awesome to see their level of interest and excitement. There was one coach particularly, Ms. Kaushika Patel, who was thinking about starting an FLL team of her own but she wasn’t positive, and she said that we convinced her that it was feasible and registered her team. Also, it was great to present with Sharkbait in our first sessions! They competed in FLL last season and attended the trainings that we hosted last year and provided experiences that differed from ours, so the coaches attending were able to see multiple points of view. They said they were excited to be on the other side of the presentation, as this was their first time doing something like this. Their mentor, Ms. Roberts, was appreciative of the opportunity. It was interesting to see the contrast between our first session, with 25+ people and our second, with only 2 attendees. In both sessions, the coaches were very enthusiastic, but it was a good learning experience for us to be able to adapt the same presentation to two different environments.
FTC The coach of the team who brought 9 members to the morning session talked to us after the session. She loved our presentation and said that she wants to bring us to train the rest of their team.
The afternoon session was much more diverse. I thought this would pose a challenge, as people didn’t know each other as well, but everyone was able to collaborate, even with total strangers. There were both adults and kids, and after the session, multiple adults came up to tell us that they were very impressed with how we presented on a technical subject, and that our session was incredibly helpful. They also said that they are planning to use our material to make sure every member on their teams are able to configure and program a robot.
A rookie team sent us the below email to thank us, and let us know that they went home and were able to connect, configure, and program their own drivetrain. This was really amazing, because we were able to see the impact that we made.