My third season being an active part of FIRST Lego League Lego Robotics ended last Saturday after the Oregon State Championship awards ceremony. One of the Camp Fire Central Oregon teams (Tectonic Plates) had qualified for that final round before the World Championship, and we headed to Hillsboro to share a frantic day with the kids, their parents, and several other Oregon teams. Tectonic Plates didn’t advance to the final round but improved their robot performance in the qualifying tournament, where they won the Core Values Award. It was a huge success for a rookie team, and we all had a terrific experience.
This year was different from the previous ones, mainly for two changes and an added issue:
- After two seasons with the competitions being held remotely, it was in-person this season.
- I was directly coaching the teams in 2020 and 2021, but my role in 2022 was coordinating the whole thing while Andrew, a Camp Fire teammate, was the coach.
- I got sick the week of the qualifying tournament and could not be there to help, which made things more difficult for the rest.
Getting sick on tournament week sucked, but… what could I do? About the changes, they had a lot of positives but came with their challenges. For example, in-person makes for a richer and much better experience but adds a lot of work in coordination and logistics. Reducing my role with the teams allowed me to add other robotics activities to the Camp Fire’s catalog and, therefore, to extend the opportunity to more youth, but it increased the coach’s workload.
Overall, I think the season was positive and simultaneously showed us some opportunities for improvement. We will keep the former and work on improving the latter!