I met Coach Brian 2 years ago at an Animal Allies scrimmage when I noticed that he was giving one of my team members advice on their gyro placement. I found this behavior odd and when I introduced myself, he told me that my kids could go to ev3lessons.com for more details on using the gyro. I was so inspired by this encounter that I volunteered at all of the remaining events that year. He is a 4 year coach that coaches 3 teams at his school. When someone asked him on Saturday which team he coached, I had to add that it's hard to tell because he just walks around helping all the teams. You can find out more about them at robosaders.com.
Now to the team. This is my son Canh, interviewing the BioBots in the pits:
Don't underestimate this team. One of the hardest things to teach is core values, and they are one of the more impressive teams. When Brian mentions that some of his teams just get it, this is one of them. We held two Coopertition events to rebuild 13 competition tables for the league. The 1st one was huge and 80+ kids and parents came out and pitched in. The 2nd did not have as great of a turn out, but that didn't stop the kids on this team from building almost all of the 5 tables we built that day. Though I was surprised that they didn't get the core values award. I am delighted that this is now becoming a tough category to compete in. It means that we are doing the right thing as a community and I was actually elated for Coach Veronica that her team, the Friendly LEGO LifeSavers received that honor on Saturday.
I met Coach Jenny 3 years ago when I coached my first team at Oak Hill Elementary. I like to tell people that she has an enormous amount of patience. She is known in our community not only for her 8+ year involvement with FLL, but she also makes Math Decathalon and Science Fair possible in our school. She coached in years when she didn't have a kid on the team because she wanted the program to be continuous. That is true dedication. When I decided to take my team private my second year, she advised me on the pros and cons of both. For her, the choice was clear because she wanted all kids to have access to the program who might be overlooked for a private team. That was a sacrifice I couldn't make at the time, but she did it year after year. Here is her lovely team being interviewed by my 9-year-old, Canh.
When I ran into her in the stands, she was telling me about her impending retirement from FLL, though she might be able to help occasional and might try to find a new home for her orphanned robots. Well, since her team has qualified to go to the Regional Championship, she will have to delay her plans at least one more month.
I met Coach Natraj at the Martin Qualifier when he was standing in the sidelines with his team, Python Slayers. He had a very solemn but proud look on his face. His team was not doing so well on the playing field, but he wanted them to keep up their spirits, they still had a couple more rounds to go. His team was mostly rookies with a few members who had been coached by Coach Christina Morales whom I just met last month and noticed she shared a similar dedication to the league as myself. Natraj at least felt solace that his team did really well on their Project presentation because he understood it wasn't about winning. I am always looking for a good story to promote the mission of FIRST, so I suggested that my son Binh go and do a Pit Interview with them for us to share. Here is that interview:
It's great to see a talkative group of kids that can still show respect for each other as they promote each other as well as their team. I love the spontaneous kid who started humming the Jeopardy theme song when Binh had a problem coming up with another question.
I was amazed at the questions that Binh, my 12-year-old son, choose to ask this team. These are the same questions that rookie coaches ask that go unanswered. Perhaps he has a future career in journalism (though he should possibly leave the videography to someone else). Make sure you watch the video to hear some great answers to the following questions: (or should I say great questions to the following answers?)
I was delighted to hear at the award ceremony that the Python Slayers took home the 1st place Champions Award. And I was able to capture this treasured moment of them to take home with me so that I could share with you.
FLL Coach since 2015