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How important are Core Values ???

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  • How important are Core Values ???

    Interesting:

    141 threads related to the project.
    1353 threads related to the robot game, programming, etc.

    Only 14 threads related to Core Values.

  • #2
    Re: How important are Core Values ???

    What is there to discuss? Interpretation is clear, they don't change, discussing their relative merit feels odd. Programming has the most questions and most views yet one could argue that it has very little importance. Most FLL robots are essentially point and shoot, no sensors, no decisions. Programming is widely discussed because it is the part of FLL that the most people have a difficult time understanding. It is the part that most people need the most help with. The number of posts has nothing to do with its importance, but instead reflects the need of the community. What is the need for core values. Is there a need for resources to help understand what the core values are or what they mean? I think the lack of discussion indicates that core values are the one thing that everyone understands.

    From a contest standpoint core values rules all. Not only does your understanding, acceptance and promotion of FLL core values affect your core values evaluation, but unjustly or not it also colors your technical and presentation judging. I've seen many teams with great robots or great projects that never took the top prize because they didn't feel like a good fit.

    The Kardashians get a lot of discussion. How important are they?
    Last edited by Dean Hystad; 05-16-2015, 09:07 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: How important are Core Values ???

      Do you coach a team? Core values exercises are the most popular part of FLL for my team. They were disappointed when they placed for robot design instead of core values at state.

      I feel like core values is like the "secret sauce" of a team.

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      • #4
        Re: How important are Core Values ???

        There are only 14 threads here because there isn't a lot of room for ambiguity in the core vales. They are pretty self explanatory. The robot game on the other hand changes ever year with lots of grey areas.

        Like Dean said. Just because something is or isn't talked doesn't show the importance of it.

        Good question and observation.
        Coaching the Flamingos since 2004!
        Team #79 - The Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        https://www.facebook.com/KalamazooFLL
        http://www.KalamazooRobotics.org

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        • #5
          Re: How important are Core Values ???

          Core Values are one-third of what teams are evaluated on at FLL tournaments. As Dean pointed out, core values also influence how teams are viewed and judged in the other main categories of Project and Robot Design. So, yes, I think they are very important.

          If you are a new coach, I recommend looking at the Core Values rubrics, and glancing at them throughout the season to see how the attitudes and values listed in the rubrics are being expressed by your team. Some teams like to do "core value exercises" that simulate what the team will be asked to do during the core values judging at the tournaments. I think that is fine and can be fun and helpful. However, in general, I think Core Values are the key things your team members do - how they treat each other, other teams, and their community in general. It can be hard to teach and "practice" these things, but as a coach you can certainly help set the tone.

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          • #6
            Re: How important are Core Values ???

            I guess I should have mentioned that my initial post was made with tongue-in-cheek or better yet I guess I should have said what I was really thinking. I am a brand new coach and I understand that core values are part and parcel of everything that goes on. It was one of the things that attracted me to the program to begin with and certainly the one aspect of the program I was most impressed with. I also understand that the core values themselves are clear and unambiguous and there is little need for discussion about what they are. However, instilling those values in kids, I don't think is as clear and straight forward. I think that process is more difficult than any of the technology issues. It's more of an art than a science. I was just a bit disappointed that there was so little discussion about how to go about instilling core values compared to discussion about the technological (competitive) aspects of the program.

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            • #7
              Re: How important are Core Values ???

              As stated in the 2015 FLL Trash Trek Coach's Handbook ( http://www.firstlegoleague.org/sites...REK-Online.pdf ):

              FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values:
              ▲▲ We are a team.
              ▲▲ We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our Coaches and Mentors.
              ▲▲ We know our Coaches and Mentors don’t have all the answers; we learn together.
              ▲▲ We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
              ▲▲ What we discover is more important than what we win.
              ▲▲ We share our experiences with others.
              ▲▲ We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
              ▲▲ We have FUN


              I think that Droids Robotics (which provides EV3Lessons.com ) is a model FLL team. They "share their experiences with others" by helping other FLL teams with EV3 programming (via "Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition"), and they do the work (by posting the revised lessons online, in various languages). "Cutthroat" FLL teams that don't share anything may not be helping to promote STEM education; the world needs all the STEM careerists it can develop.

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              • #8
                Re: How important are Core Values ???

                Originally posted by Highaspect View Post
                I guess I should have mentioned that my initial post was made with tongue-in-cheek or better yet I guess I should have said what I was really thinking. I am a brand new coach and I understand that core values are part and parcel of everything that goes on. It was one of the things that attracted me to the program to begin with and certainly the one aspect of the program I was most impressed with. I also understand that the core values themselves are clear and unambiguous and there is little need for discussion about what they are. However, instilling those values in kids, I don't think is as clear and straight forward. I think that process is more difficult than any of the technology issues. It's more of an art than a science. I was just a bit disappointed that there was so little discussion about how to go about instilling core values compared to discussion about the technological (competitive) aspects of the program.
                I figured it was more of a discussion starter than a question.

                The reason you don't see a lot of discussion on how to instill these values is that in many kids they are already there. Just going through the core values as a team at the start of the season is usually enough. In our lab we do post the core values and if at any point there is an issue, we ALL walk over to the wall and read the value that is in conflict with the students behavior. In 12 years I have only had to call out kids a couple times.

                Also there really is no single way to do this. I have coached A LOT of different kids/teams over the years and the one thing that surprises me every year is how none of the groups work or learn the same way. Each group has it's own dynamic so how they work together is very different so you have to adapt to that also. This year we have nine teams total and my approach for each time is a little different based on what they think is important and what they want to focus on.
                Coaching the Flamingos since 2004!
                Team #79 - The Blue Cheesy Flamingos
                https://www.facebook.com/KalamazooFLL
                http://www.KalamazooRobotics.org

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How important are Core Values ???

                  Originally posted by Highaspect View Post
                  ...However, instilling those values in kids, I don't think is as clear and straight forward. I think that process is more difficult than any of the technology issues. It's more of an art than a science. I was just a bit disappointed that there was so little discussion about how to go about instilling core values compared to discussion about the technological (competitive) aspects of the program.
                  Yes, I agree that the process of instilling core values is more difficult than any of the technology issues.

                  For a general overview of ways to approach coaching an FLL team, I recommend a document from High Tech Kids titled "Coaching FIRST LEGO League Teams". The document does a nice job discussing how to form and guide a team. The document is over ten years old, so some of the references may be out of date. However, I think it has held up very well overall, probably because it avoids detailed discussions of technical issues. Since the document was written, FLL has moved from the RCX to the NXT to the EV3. But the core issues FLL coaches encounter have remained the same.
                  Last edited by timdavid; 05-18-2015, 10:15 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How important are Core Values ???

                    Originally posted by timdavid View Post
                    Yes, I agree that the process of instilling core values is more difficult than any of the technology issues.

                    For a general overview of ways to approach coaching an FLL team, I recommend a document from High Tech Kids titled "Coaching FIRST LEGO League Teams".
                    Excellent resource- Thank You.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How important are Core Values ???

                      Whenever I take my teams to a tournament, my school district requires an authorization form stating the educational purpose of the trip. I've filled out so many forms over the years, I've memorized that portion of the form: "The purpose of the trip is to spark and maintain an interest in STEM and implement the goals of the district character education programs." The engineering aspects and Core Values of FLL are equally important to our program, but my goal is for my students to learn. I constantly remind them, "We compete in robotics to learn, not to win. If you compete to win, and you lose, then you've lost twice. If you compete to learn, you're already a winner." We've adopted, "What we discover is more important than what we win" as the team motto. It's printed on all of the team t-shirts.

                      The goal of our robotics program is to promote STEM. When we joined FLL in 2007, only a handful of schools in our district participated. Over the years we have teamed up with our high school FRC teams to provide mentors to FLL teams in our community. Our middle school robotics program is the point of contact. For the past two years, we've had over 20 school or community based teams compete in FLL in the Los Angeles Region. My FLL teams mentor two elementary school teams and our Robotics Club hosts a LEGO robotics tournament for our elementary schools at the end of the year. Most of them have LEGO robotics programs, but don't compete in FLL.

                      I was talking to the coach of the team that won the Champion's Award at last year's finals. I congratulated her for doing such a great job and how proud she must be. She thanked me and commented about our program and wished she could see the same kind of growth in her district. All she needs to do is take that Champion's Award to the next Board of Education meeting and see what they have to say.

                      Here's a link to the tournament we host for our elementary schools. Three of our middle school have 6th graders and that's why they are invited to participate.

                      http://rooseveltms.com/site/default....977&PageID=445
                      Donate to Roosevelt Robotics at Donors Choose
                      http://www.donorschoose.org/we-teach/639572?active=true

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                      • #12
                        Just out of curiosity, when you go to put your teams together, do you choose kids who already have good character or those who are good at robotics? I realize that it is probably different for everyone, but I coach a school based team and I have to replace team members every year. I decided when I started that I was going to pick kids who character already demonstrated core values. Now I'm thinking I might better serve the community by taking kids who are a little tougher around the edges and teaching THEM to embrace the core values. On the other hand, it is much more pleasant to just work with nice kids... Just curious how the rest of you do this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tim Carey View Post
                          Just out of curiosity, when you go to put your teams together, do you choose kids who already have good character or those who are good at robotics?
                          "Yes."

                          Sorry for the tired old joke. Your question is a serious one, and is at the very heart of what your school program is about.

                          Originally posted by Tim Carey View Post
                          I decided when I started that I was going to pick kids who character already demonstrated core values. Now I'm thinking I might better serve the community by taking kids who are a little tougher around the edges and teaching THEM to embrace the core values. On the other hand, it is much more pleasant to just work with nice kids.
                          All of your possible choices are valid and worthy. You've got limited resources, where do you put them? I've had to make very similar choices. I've made huge mistakes and also had huge good fortune.

                          An easy answer is to get a mix of talents, some good speakers, a couple of introverts who love to code, a mix of genders and personalities. I'm not sure how to mix in one or two "tougher around the edges kids," that might work better as a second team. I haven't succeeded as well in that area, but I want to try again soon.

                          My most heartfelt advice is to find a team that "gels." I know that will tend to push you in the direction of "kids whose character already demonstrates core values." To some extent, you can teach kids how to gel, and if you do, then you're a huge hero. But when it clicks, when the kids just happen to fit together like puzzle pieces, boom! Everything is great from then on.

                          Look to the parents as a small but definite part of the choice. If you've got parents who can step in and take over Project, for instance, wow, that's a huge help. If you've got parents who can't be bothered to get the kids to a scrimmage on time, that makes everything harder for everybody. About ten of my former parents are now active coaches or dependable judges. If you're coaching Elementary school, be on the lookout for a family that can take over your graduates, turn them into a living room team, and keep your hard work alive by keeping the kids together. You can do that by stating expectations of families up front, as you're making selections.

                          Volunteer as a Core Values Judge. View dozens of teams around your area. Your insights from viewing different kids will help you more than anything I can write here.

                          Me, personally, I go for the team that gels, as top priority. That may be selfish of me.

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                          • #14
                            I take what I get. Having to pick kids to participate in FLL would be painful. I've had kids that were a real challenge and I've had kids that I didn't like, but I've never had a kid that I didn't want on the team. Even when I'm glad to see their back I find the experience fulfilling.

                            Sometimes it takes a little time before I can spot the fulfillment.
                            Last edited by Dean Hystad; 01-10-2018, 11:36 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I introduced my classes of third graders to FLL today, with letters for the parents of kids who were interested. I told the kids that if they want to participate, they have to write a paragraph about why they would be a good team member. Seeing who gets their parents to do the work for them is going to be a nice test of core values from the get go. But I had 37 kids take letters home and there's no way to take them all with the infrastructure we have now. I think we can go from one team to two or three, but I'm still going to have to pick and choose.

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