Saturday, January 9, 2010

So, it's finally happened. Our FIRST First Lego League season has come to an end. Sigh. And my, oh my, how much we have learned this season!

Tiara 1 has been yearning to be a part of the FLL madness since she first saw a team practicing at the ripe old age of 5. FLL states that children as young as 6 can participate although they recommend FLL for ages 9 - 14. For those 15 and older, there are other Lego clubs requiring bigger robots and bigger wallets. So for the next few years, we are true FLL age.

I got a phone call in August from a friend who had joined a new FLL team that was forming. The new team was being coordinated by someone who coached a team last year but she was unwilling to coach this year due to time constraints. She was willing, however, to coordinate. By that, she was willing to ask someone to coach, ask someone to open their home and allow the use of her robot for the season (and the bot is quite costly). So, my friend had agreed to open her home but no one had agreed to volunteer as coach. The coordinator let my friend know that unless my friend would coach, there would be no team. So my friend called me..... and that's where it all began.

I agreed to co-coach the team. Tiara 1 was SO excited. Our team had some ups and downs about 6 weeks later and we lost 3 members (only had 6 to start with). We gained one new member and had a new team of 4. Began working on our robot and our project. Took a few very cool field trips. Learned a lot about programming a robot. Learned a WHOLE lot about team work and working through issues.

In Georgia, the season started with 277 FLL teams. After the first qualifier, 96 teams were left standing. And we were one of those teams. Little ole us. All first year kids. Three 9 year olds and one 11 year old. Little ole us. Still standing and standing very proudly, I might add. And standing proudly with our first place trophy that we won for TEAMWORK! Woo Hoo!

Today, we had 32 teams at our Super-Qualifier. 15 moved on to State which will be held at GA Tech in two weeks. The winner of state will represent the GA FLL'ers at World in April. World will be held at the GA dome for the last year before moving to St. Louis (I believe it's St. Louis). World is a HUGE event and we will be there to bask in all the energy and excitement. But only as spectators.

Today was bittersweet for us. We have been attending Lego meetings since August and they became our daily school work for about 6 weeks leading up to our first qualifer. After all, they included research, life skills and of course, science. Much of our other school work has been set aside for months now, waiting patiently to be dusted off and loved upon by Tiara 1 and Tiara 2. Although we didn't advance to State today, the Tiaras are quite excited to get back to their "regular" school work on Monday. Tiara 1 said she really misses her geography. And her math. Tiara 2 said she misses "all of it." We began discussing all that we needed to cover and all that we want to cover in the coming weeks. And Tiara 1, in a way that only Tiara 1 can do, broke that train of thought. She derailed that train of thought. Tiara 1 asked if she could volunteer as an assistant at GA tech for the FLL state meet. So our FLL season may not be quite over after all.


Kat said...

Wow. You really did take a year off! I have sorta taken a year off too...with all of my sporadic posting. I am thrilled to see ya!

FLL...Katie never showed any interest. I cannot imagine only doing robotics for that long. So...the tiaras loved it...but did you??

artgirlATL said...

That's funny... I basically took almost a year off blogging too. Just needed a break even though I thoroughly enjoy my blog buddies. How fun to have one I sit by in church!