The LL Wizards - FLL Team #318

First Meeting Held 9/10/2009

September 14th, 2009

The team held its first meeting on Thursday Sept. 10th. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed the activities.

Since this was the first meeting, we focused on some initial items to get them into spirit and begin working as a team.

We started off with a snack, and introducing ourselves. Our team includes two girls from home-school programs, so this allowed everyone to get to know each other.

We then watched a 25 minute video from US FIRST that comes with the coaches kit. This video followed the kids from the PBS program ZOOM (out of the Boston area) as they participated in the FLL program during the 2003 Mission Mars season. This video showed not only the robot building/programming/competition that our team was introduced to during the summer camps, but also showed the process of doing the research project and giving the presentation on the research to the judges panel at the competition.

After the video, we did a little team-building exercise. This exercise had a two-fold purpose. Not only was it to get them working together as a team, but also to elicit creative thinking skills. The kids were given a rope, with the instructions that they needed to figure out how to get the most number of kids to jump over the rope, as many times as possible, without missing. I was surprised at how fast they arrived at the answer! They started with the jump-rope idea, but quickly realized that the answer was to simply place the rope on the floor and all jump over it. Yeah Team!

We then sat back down and worked on picking a team name. I gave them some examples of other team’s names, then allowed them to brainstorm some ideas. I wrote down all the possible names they came up with. We then did a vote to narrow down the list, everyone could vote multiple times at this stage. We narrowed the list to three names. They then did a “blind vote” between the three. The resultant name (the “Monster Mayhem”) was chosen by 4 votes, the others had 3 and 2 votes respectively. That caused a problem because 5 members were against the name chosen by 4 votes. So we went back and tweaked the process a little, and came up with a 5-4 vote for “LL Wizards”. The LL is short for Lego League.

We also picked a team “color-theme” to be used on the website and our team t-shirts. Turquoise & White. Surprisingly, after the team name activity, that went easy and quickly.

For the last 45 minutes, we worked assembling the rest of the Lego mission models that go on the competition table. We still have a little more work to do on that, but should finish up next time.

At 5:30, we started picking up and putting away our stuff. We had a few minutes to watch a couple 15-second videos describing the robot missions. We will do more of that at the next meeting as well.

All in all, it was a very successful meeting, and I think all the kids were excited. Our next meeting is Thursday Sept. 17th.

-Coach Brian

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