FLL Research Project Background and Status

Notes from our first meeting’s Research Project brain storm:fll_notes_project_20140930

Our Research Project is worth as much point value as our Robot Game, so we can’t overlook it as some teams do.  FLL purposely keeps the definition broad and vague to allow the team more space to be creative in their approach and solution.

As of our last meeting, the team came up with something to do with teaching/learning history by somehow collecting the life stories and personal histories of elderly people in they know.  Nearly everyone in our group has lost an elderly relative or friend in the past several years and regret that that didn’t learn more about that person and their life.  We thought we could capture some of that somehow and use it to better teach history and help other understand what life was like in the past.

Here is a summary from the FLL website ( http://www.firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/FLL_WORLD_CLASS/FLL-WORLD-CLASS-Challenge-FINAL-v2.pdf ):


THINK ABOUT IT

You have probably learned so many things in your life that it is hard to count them. You started learning as soon as you were born. You learned to walk, tie your shoes, and how to read this Challenge.  You might have learned to dance, paint, or play an instrument. You might even have learned how to kick a soccer ball at the perfect angle to score a goal.

To have fun in many core subjects — like history, science, art, and math — you need to develop specific skills. In fact, skills are your tools to learn at any age. They might include:

* Critical thinking
* Teamwork
* Creativity
* Problem solving
* Communication
* Information literacy (knowing how to find and use the information you need)
* Understanding technology

There is so much to learn, but people do not all learn the same way. Just like there is more than one way to build your robot, there is more than one way to learn most things. We call these different ways of learning “learning styles.” Most people learn through some combination of watching, listening, reading, writing, moving, and even playing. Do you have a favorite way to
learn new knowledge or skills?
No matter what learning style you use most, there are many surprising tricks that might help a person learn. For example:

* Some video games help you understand how the three-dimensional world fits together. This skill is called “spatial reasoning.” It could help you engineer and innovate.
* Singing the rules of a new game might help you remember them more easily than reading them.
* Building with LEGO bricks could help you learn math and engineering concepts. (You probably knew that already – you’re in FLL!)

Some learning tools or techniques might make learning more exciting, while others help you remember the information for a longer time. Your Project mission this season is to find a better or more innovative way to help someone learn.

IDENTIFY YOUR FLL WORLD CLASS QUESTION AS A TEAM

Select one topic you are passionate about and use it to write down your FLL WORLD CLASS Question. You could choose a topic from your own list or something else that interests your team. For the FLL WORLD CLASS Project, a topic may be very broad (ex: science) or very specific (ex: the different parts of a cell). Write your FLL WORLD CLASS Question using this format: “How could we improve the way that someone learns [your team’s topic]?”

Then research all the ways people learn about this topic today. You might use books, interviews, the internet, radio, TV or lots of other resources to answer questions like:

* How do people usually find out about your topic for the first time?

* What tools or technology do students usually use to learn about it?

* Why is this topic important and who is it important to?

* Does the location or method matter when learning about this topic?

This might be a great time to interview a professional. The professional could be someone who teaches the topic you selected or works with it every day. How did they learn about your topic? Why are they passionate about it? Did they like the topic when they first learned about it? What are the drawbacks to the way people learn about this topic today? Here is the brainstorming notes on the Research Project from our first FLL meeting:

CREATE AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION

Now your challenge is to design an innovative solution to your FLL WORLD CLASS Question – a solution that adds value to society by improving something that already exists, using something that exists in a new way, or inventing something totally new. Your solution might improve the learning experience for someone on your team or for someone else.  Think about:

* How can your solution make learning easier or more fun?

* Can it help you learn something yourself? Or help you teach what you know to someone else?

* What could be done better? What could be done in a new way?

* What new tools or processes would help someone remember the information for a longer time?

SHARE WITH OTHERS

Once you have a design or plan for your solution, share it!

AS A TEAM – Think about who your solution might help. How can you let them know? Can you present your research andsolution to people who learn or teach? Can you share with a professional or someone who helped you learn about your topic? Or other students in your school? Can you think of any other groups of people who might be interested in your idea?

Consider sharing with someone who could provide feedback about your idea. Getting input and improving are part of the design process for any engineer. Don’t be afraid to revise your idea if you receive some helpful feedback.

When you present, use the talents of your team members. Find a creative way to explain your FLL WORLD CLASS Question and solution. Could you perform a skit? Create a website? Make a comic book? Rap? Write a poem, song, or story? Your sharing can be simple or elaborate, serious or designed to make people laugh while they learn.

And remember, the most important thing is to have fun!

PRESENT

Finally, prepare a presentation to share your work with the judges at a tournament. Your presentation can include posters, slideshows, models, multimedia clips, your research materials, and more. Be creative, but also make sure you cover all the essential information.

To be eligible for Project Awards and advancement, your team must:

1. Identify your team’s FLL WORLD CLASS Question.

2. Explain your team’s innovative solution.

3. Describe how your team shared your findings with others.

4. Meet the presentation requirements:

* Give your presentation live; you may use media equipment (if available) but only to enhance the live presentation.

* Include all team members; each team member must participate in the Project judging session in some way.

* Set up and complete your presentation in 5 minutes or less with no adult help. You can learn more about how your team’s presentation will be judged by reviewing the Rubrics located at:  http://www.firstlegoleague.org/event/judging.

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