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Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP)

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  1. Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) II. Coaching/Mentoring Techniques Workshop 2005 Opening doors to the worlds of science and technology for Oregon’s youth

  2. Ken Cone ken_cone@ous.edu 503-725-2918 Jim Ryan james.r.ryan@intel.com 971-215-6087 Scott Stanko scott.stanko@intel.com (971) 215-9677 Roger Swanson swanson@hevanet.com 503-297-1824 Instructor Contacts

  3. Today’s Goals • Focus on being a coach or mentor • I hope you leave: • Feeling more comfortable about your role • Having some more tools in your bag of tricks • Understanding better what it takes to solve a challenge. • Having gotten your questions answered • Have some fun!!

  4. Agenda • Forming your team • Registering your team • Equipping your team • Managing your team • NO LIMITS Challenge kit • Do some exercises with Inventor Level programming using RoverBots from last week

  5. We’re asking you to help us! Our Mission • Program not just about building robots and competing in tournaments • Teach skills • Specific technical skills • General life skills • Show that technical problem solving can be fun • Open up the possibility of technical careers • One secret opportunity

  6. Where Teams Come From • School Based • In class: Perhaps 45 minutes a day • After school: Perhaps 1.5 hours; 2 to 4 times a week • Special block: Several hours once a week • Club Based • Probably after school or evening • Independent team • After school, evenings, or weekends • We encourage you to find and include youngsters that normally would not have this exposure

  7. Where to Meet • Large enough space to handle the number of youngsters on the team • Space for challenge field setup – 4’x8’ • Access to a computer • Storage space between meetings • Challenge table • Partially built robot • Lego parts

  8. Team size • High initial interest may fade • Sub-teams of 2-3 can work in parallel • Experiment with prototypes • Learn programming techniques • Work on the presentation • Eventually team should stabilize at 10 or less • 5 to 7 team members is probably ideal

  9. You Need Adults, Too! • Coach – The person in charge • Organizes the team • Does not need to be a techie • Mentor – The technical guru • Provides technical advice • Provides the technical basics • One person can play both roles • But, don’t go it alone • Recruit other adults to supervise sub-teams

  10. Coach – The Person in Charge • Single point of contact for team • Understands the FLL and ORTOP programs • Recruits the team • Registers the team • Arranges for equipment • Schedules meetings • Sets the philosophy and instills team spirit • Be a good role model

  11. Mentor – The Technical Guru • Technical Advisor to assist the coach • Teaches both robot design and programming • Helps set achievable goals • Encourages structured problem solving • Follow typical engineering project models • Experiment with one variable at a time • Graduates of FLL can work

  12. General Advice to All Adults • Be a good role model • Keep a positive attitude • Encourage teamwork and insist on mutual respect • Don’t over emphasize “winning” – demonstrating a solution at a tournament is success • This is the kids’ project, not yours • Have fun

  13. Team Registration • National registration through FLL: http://www.usfirst.org/jrobtcs/flg_reg.htm • May through end of September or when max reached • $150 fee • Receive team manual, web forum access, and support • Optional ordering of kits • First-Come-First-Served, so REGISTER EARLY!!

  14. Purchases at FLL Registration • Registration fee: $150 • Robotics kit: $260 • Field set-up kit: $50 • Rotation sensor, extra motor and light sensor • They don’t ship until they are paid

  15. ORTOP State Registration • Takes place in October 2005 • $35 fee for ORTOP • We notify all coaches that have registered with FLL in Oregon and surrounding counties • Provide list of local tournaments • Ask for 3 local tournament choices in priority order • We assign teams to local tournaments • Register early!!

  16. Minimum Resources to Start • A robotics kit • A computer • A place to meet and practice • Classroom • Family room • Garage

  17. Additional Resources • 2005 FLL Field Setup kit (only from FLL) • Mission Model Set • Field Mat • Practice table (design on FLL website) • http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=11330 • 4’x8’ bottom • Railing around the sides • Overhead light

  18. Robotics Kit Info • Can start with • LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention System: $150-200 with RIS software and buy a tackle box for sorting parts; or • LEGO Team Challenge Set with Software (W990977 ) at $226 which includes Robolab software and good sorting trays and guides; • And , upgrade by purchasing an additional light sensor and motor plus a rotation sensor (see FAQ). • Or, order 2005 FLL Robot Kit at $260 for delivery starting in the summer. • Lots of teaching guides at Lego Education site

  19. Kit Ordering • Mindstorms kits available from • Perhaps Target, ToysRUs, or Fry’s (call ahead) • Amazon.com • LEGO: http://shop.lego.com/product.asp?p=3804 • FLL kits from FLL web site: register4fll.com • Everything else available from Lego Education at: http://www.legoeducationstore.com/ • See FAQ for more details

  20. Team Uniforms?? • Many teams do something for the tournaments • Team shirts, hats, etc • Theme clothing • Team sponsor advertising on a T-shirt, etc. is OK

  21. Example Team Budget • National Registration Fee: $150 • State Registration Fee: $35 • 2005 Robotics Kit: $260 • 2005 Field Setup Kit: $50 • Materials for table: $50-$100 • Team Challenge Activity Pack: $30 • Misc. including batteries, shipping: $50-$100 • Total: $625-$725

  22. Possible Sources of team funding Team Member Dues Having some portion of costs picked up by team members gives a sense of commitment Fundraising Activities Team Sponsors ORTOP Scholarship

  23. ORTOP Scholarships • Funding should not be an obstacle to a team’s participation • Cover $35 to $600 in team costs • Accepting applications now • Awards made at least monthly • Last date is September 16, 2005 • http://ortop.org/scholarship.html

  24. Meeting Organization • How often and how long to meet • Most teams meet 2-3 times per week • After school, evenings, weekends as team desires • Some add extras as get closer to end • > 1 hr (set up and take down) • < 3 hrs (attention span) • At least 2 adults present during meetings – can use parents who take turns • Set ground rules -- E.g. don’t turn kids loose to walk home by themselves after dark • Refreshments / snacks

  25. Team Kick-off Meeting • Every child brings parent • Set expectations with both • Send kids off to build with Legos • Get assistant to help • Build with instructions, like the Constructopedia • Something they can all do at once • Explain the real situation to the parents

  26. Parent Involvement • Explain program/FLL philosophy • Success = Participation • Explain team rules • Discuss participation commitment for kids • Review costs and funding sources • Communicate about tournament • Solicit help

  27. Getting Started with the Kids • Set Team Goals • Decide responsibilities • Can rotate, especially near beginning • Usually will want to be fixed as near tournament • Need backups roles due to absences • Set milestones – use project management analogy • Set dates for each phase of project to keep on track • Include design, build, test, REWORK • Encourage participation in a team environment

  28. Learning Opportunities • Encourage risk taking • It’s OK to fail • Key is to manage the risk • Encourage experimentation • Expect failure – focus on what is learned as a result • Problem solving takes time – Edison’s experience with light bulb filament

  29. Facilitate Structured Problem Solving • Defining problem • Brainstorming • Evaluating alternatives • Choosing alternative • Implementing • Evaluating & testing

  30. Hard vs.. Soft Skills • Soft Skills • Timeliness • Teamwork • Tact and Compromise • Confidence • Courtesy • Perseverance • Planning • Hard Skills • Mechanical Design • Programming • Analysis • Problem Solving • Experimentation • Documentation Turn these youth into little engineers

  31. Build a Foundation • Introduce techniques and concepts • Build or bring demos • Discuss advantages and disadvantages • Let kids figure out how to apply concept to Challenge • If meetings start before Challenge is announced, can use mini-challenges to introduce concepts • One approach: use 5-10 minutes at start of each meeting to introduce concepts

  32. Sample Concepts • Pick one or two new subjects per session • Structural strength: bracing vs. snapped pieces • Gear ratios: torque vs. speed • Traction: tracks vs. wheels • Friction: tires vs. skids • Programming techniques: linear vs. loops vs. subroutines

  33. Divide and conquer • Three basic robot functions: • Locomotion: how the robot moves • Navigation: how it knows where to go • Robotic Action: function it performs

  34. Locomotion • Motors • Gears/pulleys • Wheels/tracks • Steering • Friction

  35. Navigation • Time, but sensitive to battery charge • Touch Sensors • Means of triggering • Pressed vs. release • Light Sensors • Light levels • Darker/lighter • Calibrating thresholds • Rotation sensor

  36. Robotic Action • Pushing • Grabbing • Lifting • Dumping

  37. Technical Judging – 25% • Panel of “experts” interviews teams • Robot design: Creativity and robustness • Programming: Creativity and robustness • Prepare the team to: • Explain their design of the robot and its program • Demonstrate at least one mission on the challenge field • Bring a printout of the program

  38. Presentation Judging – 25% • Don’t ignore it • Another good learning opportunity • Research skills and presentation skills (remember the marketing kid? ) • Good engineering requires research and communication • Format • 10 minutes including setup • Posterboards, skits, models, Powerpoint, . . .

  39. Sources of ideas • Constructopedias/Manuals/Guides • RoboLab Tutorial CD-ROM • Books – www.ortop.org/ORTOPbooks.html • Web links – www.ortop.org/ORTOPcoachment.html • Lego • FIRST • INSciTE -- Minnesota FLL • Tufts University – Inventor of Robolab • Real world • Art of Lego • CMU • Best Practices

  40. Next Steps • Fill out our Volunteer Information Form • Sign-up for another workshop • III. Robotics Techniques Workshop • ortopreg@ortop.org

  41. Contact Us Web site: http://www.ortop.org Email: questions@ortop.org Phone: 503-725-2915