Core Values judging primer for robotics competitions

10 Things to Know as a FIRST LEGO League Judge
Please be sure to check out for additional information, including Judging     Q & A from throughout the season:   FIRST LEGO League Challenge:
Judging Questions:
We hope your experience as a Judge is rewarding and enjoyable!
10. Have fun – you & the kids
The most important thing to know about a FIRST LEGO League tournament is that it is supposed to be FUN. The mission of FIRST is to get kids excited about science &
technology. A competition is a celebration of what the children have accomplished throughout the season. It should be serious & competitive, but not so much that the fun is lost.
9. Exhibit Gracious Professionalism & honor FIRST LEGO League Core Values
These are the basic foundations of FIRST LEGO League, & should always be at the forefront in everyone’s minds.  We offer specific awards to recognize Core Values excellence, but a significant concern can impact team eligibility in any award category.
8. Be a good role model for technology & engineering careers Give the kids a chance to see what makes engineers, scientists, computer programmers & educators special.
Share your experiences without sharing your agendas. Be professional – show the kids that what they have accomplished is appreciated & valuable. Show interest in their presentations & discussions, & be personable.
7. Respect the children
Please keep negative comments to yourself, away from the ears of the kids, parents & coaches. All teams should be given the benefit of the doubt when questions arise about
adult involvement. If you suspect the kids did not do the work, it is your job to probe further to prove it, rather than assuming that the kids did not do the work. Remember that
these are kids who worked hard all season to make it to the tournament. Treat their accomplishments with respect & be sure that other Judges do so as well. One negative
comment from a Judge can have a devastating effect on teams. Make it your goal as a Judge to ensure that the teams know what they did well, & that they have a positive
experience showcasing their achievements.
6. Respect the judging process
Stay on schedule. The kids have a more challenging schedule than you do. Remember the FIRST LEGO League awards philosophy. Remember that the whole judging process
is subjective. Concentrate on providing a great experience for the kids & try not to get caught up in the mechanics of the process. Do not share scores or awards discussions with the kids, coaches or parents.
5. Evaluate teams completely & fairly
Each rubric is designed to evaluate many areas of a team’s performance & gives equal weighting to several factors tied to specific awards. All Core Awards are of equal importance, except for our Champion’s Award that recognizes all-around
excellence. Be objective, both on a team-by-team basis & a total rubric evaluation basis. Familiarize yourself with the levels of achievement. Identify any conflicts of interest you
have before the competition & refrain from involving yourself in discussions about any team when you have a conflict.
4. Consider age appropriateness & experience
Consider age when evaluating teams. Certain skills, knowledge & capabilities are more likely to be exhibited by the kids as they get older & more experienced in general &
in FIRST LEGO League in particular. You may also see rookie teams that are more polished & understand FIRST LEGO League better than experienced teams.
3. Reward excellence & celebrate achievement
For a team to be considered for an award, they should be evaluated at an Exemplary level of achievement in that category whenever possible. Award distribution is spread as
equitably as possible among the teams, with the goal of no team winning more than one judged award.
2. Provide specific & constructive feedback
Please be specific when providing feedback comments to teams. This will also help when it comes to awards deliberations – specific examples are very helpful when differentiating between teams. “This team’s willingness to help other teams (by providing programming mentorship, for example) is exemplary” is more descriptive & helpful than “that team was so nice & polite & exhibited gracious professionalism.” Take lots of notes if you need to!
1. See #10 again!

Gracious Professionalism
Inclusion – Look for how well a team incorporates ideas from everyone & makes each team member feel like a valued part of the team. Determine how well the team understands that working together allows them to accomplish more than they could by working alone.

An Accomplished team will exhibit balanced involvement, with most team members actively contributing ideas.
Respect –Judges must look beyond teams that show good manners & are a “nice group of kids”. We expect decent behavior to be the norm. Accomplished teams act & speak with integrity; they understand that what they say & do has the power to impact others & situations.
Coopertition™ – Look for ways that a team honors the spirit of friendly competition, including any assistance provided or received from other teams. Determine how team members help each other and other teams, prepare for & approach potentially stressful competition experiences throughout the season.   ttp://             FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, Coopertition, and Gracious Professionalism are registered trademarks of the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology  (FIRST®). LEGO® and the LEGO logo are registered trademarks of the LEGO Group.  FIRST® LEGO® League and ANIMAL ALLIES are jointly held trademarks  of FIRST and the LEGO Group. ©2016 FIRST. All rights reserved.  FL004

The Core Values
The Core Values are the heart of FIRST® LEGO® League. By embracing the Core
Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate
goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork. Review the
Core Values with your team & discuss them whenever they are needed.
We are a team.
• We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches & mentors.
• We know our coaches & 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® & Coopertition® in everything we do.
• We have FUN!

Create a Core Values poster
1. Discuss ways your team used the Core Values this season – both in team meetings & in
other parts of life. Make a list of examples.
2. Ask your team to select examples that highlight the specific Core Values areas, below.
These are typically the most challenging categories for Judges to explore during judging
sessions. The poster can help your team present their successes in an organized format.

a. Discovery: Provide examples from the season about things your team discovered that
were not focused on gaining an advantage in the competition or winning an award. Tell
the Judges how the team balanced all three parts of FIRST® LEGO® League (Core
Values, Project & Robot Game), especially if they were really excited about one part.

b. Integration: Provide examples of how your team applied the Core Values & other
things you learned through FIRST LEGO League to situations outside of team activities.
Let the Judges know how team members integrated new ideas, skills & abilities into
their everyday life.

c. Inclusion: Describe how your team listened to & considered ideas from everyone &
made each team member feel like a valued part of the team. Share with the Judges how
they accomplished more by working together than any team member could have done

d. Coopertition: Describe how your team honors the spirit of friendly competition. Include
information about how your team provided assistance to &/or received assistance
from other teams. Share with the Judges how your team members help each other, &
help other teams to prepare for a potentially stressful competition experience.

e. Other: Use the middle of the poster to highlight anything else your team would like to
share with the Judges about the remaining Core Values criteria. Maybe consider
sharing examples of Team Spirit, Respect, or Teamwork.
• Find the Core Values listed in the Challenge.
• Learn about what to expect from Core Values Judging & read tips from experienced Coaches in the Coaches’ Handbook:
• Your team will be assessed in the judging room using a standard rubric. Review the Core
Values judging information & rubric.
If you are completely new, check out the FIRST LEGO League Resource Library for videos,
tips & additional helpful rookie links:

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