Unlike the Robot Competition or Research Project, the Core Value component of our tournament is less straightforward. However, it is equal in value to the other two at 1,000 points.
First off, as coaches we’ve been told to prepare our kids to be grilled on the definition of two key FFL concepts. Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition.
Gracious Professionalism means teams compete like crazy against challenges
but appreciate and treat each other with respect. Your enemy is the problem you’re
trying to solve — not an opposing team or person. Gracious professionals lend a
helping hand to an opponent when needed because they want everyone to have a
chance to compete.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate
ideas. Gracious professionals learn and compete intensely, but treat one another
with kindness in the process. Even when a team wins the competition, they avoid
treating anyone like losers.
In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. You
can enjoy personal success while also making a contribution to society. FLL team
members will learn that they can succeed while still acting with integrity.
Coopertition® combines the concepts of cooperation and competition. Coopertition
is founded on the philosophy that teams can (and should!) cooperate with each other
even as they compete.
Once you have mastered a skill, you teach it to someone else so that everyone
can do better next time. It will make the competition more meaningful by pushing
everyone to excel. Sometimes it even means sharing a spare part or battery charger
with another team so they have a chance to compete. You still do your best to win,
just not at the other team’s expense.
The FLL Coaches Handbook summarizes FLL Core Values as:
▲ 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
In concrete terms, this means that we demonstrate these values in:
* Our Team Challenge Judging Room where we’ll be given a problem that we have to solve and how well we work together as a team is more important than the particular solution we come up with.
* Our outreach to other members in the community: our research project experts, our demo day, our press release, etc.
* Our having fun and learning as reflected in our explorations at COSI, Historical Society, Events, our team T-shirts and unique hats
There is a lot of overlap in Core Values with what Judges see in our other two areas of competition as well. Here is a recommended layout for a Core Value poster we can present to the judges during our Instant Challenge:
You can read the details of how we populate this Core Value poster and how FLL judges are instructed to grade our team.