We need education to be well rounded. We want our children learning soft skills, good sportsmanship, be dynamic and creative as well as practice good work ethics in addition to researching, engineering, and programming robots. Fll gives all of these equal, weight-age.
When the students engage in research, they are bombarded with so much information that it almost seems impossible to narrow down to one particular real life problem. Coming up with an innovative solution may seem even harder. The challenge is to try to balance the quality of work within a time frame. This is exactly what happens in real life too. You are thrown into difficult situations and have to work with a team of ten different personalities and still get the job done within tight deadlines. Student have the freedom and flexibility to choose what they solve and how they solve it. Parents and coaches can help but students do all the work.
Core values bank on the emotional quotient of the students. While their technical skills are judged in a more structured manner, the core values are judged by a five minute team activity in which their participation is closely observed. How they, plan divide the work, communicate, take charge and execute a task will determine their final score. Plenty of team activities have to be done throughout the season. Appropriate mentoring and counseling is needed from time to time to help students handle stressful situations. This part of the program is often equally challenging for coaches and students but when they finally succeed in achieving a set objective, within constraints it is a true moment of celebration and pride!
We specialize in coaching robotics because we truly believe in the need for the various dimensions covered by the program. It would be easier to just design, engineer and program a bot but we need more than just machines making machines, we want our students to truly enjoy what they do. We want them to learn how to correctly cite their sources. We want them to research and document their findings… We want them to build their characters up and develop their personalities in order to make a positive contribution to the world. We want to teach them not to quit, not to give up but to keep trying! When they are out their in the real world facing real challenges we want them to think as teams and not as individuals.