Comments about this year's FLL World Festival

First of all, congraulations to Team 45 on their Director’s Award win!

I was just wondering what people thought about the World Festival. My team had a great time trading buttons and talking to teams from other countries. We enjoyed the NXT display and were successful in our runs and presentations. All the volunteers were very helpful However, we also felt there might be some room for improvement.

The team came to Atlanta not expecting to win anything, but I think all of the students were very surprised that there was no widespread judging in the pit area. The students felt very positively about their presentations but didn’t include a lot of backgroud information about such things as our partnership with a local FRC team, mentoring LEGO summer camps, contributions to the community, etc since we assumed the judges would come around to our pit. We knew about the callback system, but was there an annoucement we missed stating that there would be limited pit area judging? I know FIRST has limited volunteers, but in my opinion, I think they should have made some effort to have judges visit every team in the pits since some teams, such as my own, “sell” themselves as an overall team better in pit area conversations with judges.

Also, I’m curious if other teams sent members out to look at other robots. My team has been struggling for a while with a differential, and were looking forward to talking to others about gearing. However, we found we either didn’t have the time or that some teams we met were very reluctant to share their knowledge, which I can sort of understand. Does anyone think FLL should maybe cut back on the alliance mission or on practice runs and stage a workshop where all teams get together for the express purpose of sharing mechanical and programming knowledge. I know my team would greatly appreciate it!

All in all, though, we had a great time and FLL deserves a big thank you for a another successful World Festival!