While many people join FIRST LEGO League solely to design, construct, and program a competitive robot, there are are many more exciting components that the program has to offer youth! One example of such are the presentations that teams are required to deliver to a panel of judges. This includes the Project, the Robot Design, and the Core Values Presentations. There are many resources that highlight the generalities of these judging sessions and what to expect, but in this article, we want to include the small tips and tricks to help take your team, and their presentations, to the next level!
As a team with 9 total years of FLL experience, and a collective 22 years of FIRST experience, we can say that this is the most important part of any effective presentation. Once your students have finalized their project solution, completed the robot design, and have developed a full understanding of the Core Values, begin to produce a script for each judging session. Make sure that everything said in the presentation directly relates back to the rubric categories, giving the judges clear information when evaluating your team. Use plenty of unique and distinct facts that set you apart from other teams in this endeavor. For example, during the Robot Design Executive Summary, have students clearly communicate their innovative and practical programming tactics.
Show that you are passionate about what you do.
Putting extra effort into brochures, flyers, tri-folds, and team information sheets that outline the major points made in your presentations will stand out to the judges, show that you are passionate about what you do, and it will aid them in the deliberation process and decision making when determining awards and advancement. Implement all of the major points that you cover into an extremely nice format that isn’t too text heavy and is appropriately balanced with images. To communicate the Design Process, present an engineering notebook that highlights all of the design changes that you have made to the robot in an effective manner. Turning this in, with well written text, and an appealing format, will make you stand out as well
Perhaps one of the most important parts of judging is the improvisation, question and answer session issued by the judges. This is a time in which they learn more about your team, and how you fulfill specific award criteria, by asking your students various questions. This is a chance for the judges to test your students’ knowledge aside from a script, which usually yields more authentic answers. In order to prepare for this, build the confidence of your students by asking them questions in practice. This only scratches the surface of what our team has to offer and what is included as a part of the interview process. Expand on each of these ideas and make it your own, and surely your team will have success in judging. Good luck, remember to have fun, and exhibit exemplary Gracious Professionalism!