Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hello Manhattan Qualifier Event Organizers,

I hardly have time to write this e-mail as after a tournament week I am knee deep in report cards - but the hard work that was put into pulling off this event warrants it.

What an event! My team and parents are still buzzing over it. The location was perfect. It is easily accessible by car and public transportation, and you can find on street parking! Having the pit and tournament tables in the same room is a great way to have the children interact with other teams and view their progress, and the cuers could more easily announce and find the teams. The research and technical presentations locations were also perfect, and the coordination of the day appeared seamless. Plus the Great Hall itself is simply breathtaking! It was a truly magical "Hogwarts" experience. :)

In terms of lunch for the kids, we were able to access free WIFI at the event and Googled a pizza place that delivered.

I brought three teams from my school (a first) and was very nervous on how I would corral and maintain nearly 30 children from across the grade and age spectrum (3rd - 7th grade). The location helped that immensely. We are from Brooklyn and originally registered for this event when the original December date for the Brooklyn Qualifier was a conflict. We are all glad we were able to keep our slot at this event, and if it is held at CUNY next year, we would be honored to return!

The only disappointment that came from a team member was from his technical presentation rubric. We had only one student who was brave enough to volunteer how the robot was designed, and on one point of his rubric it said something like, "Coach helped," which could not be further from the truth. He and I had a discussion about judging subjectivity (a very important lesson), and he's determined to prove at Javits that the robot is 100% student created. Thanks to Suman for handing me our rubrics, they were a great teaching tool this week!

Thank you all for making this a great experience for our team and team's families.

I have pictures posted from the event here:
and here:


Maureen Reilly
Third Grade Teacher and FLL Coach
Packer Collegiate Institute
170 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

PS: We are looking for an after-school LEGO Robotics Teacher to work with a beginner's group on Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 beginning January 29th - we have both NXT and RCX kits and we have one teacher and two high school mentors working the same day for support. Since the news of the Manhattan Qualifier, the registration for our spring program has risen and we are looking to accommodate as many students as possible. If you know anyone who may be interested have them contact me at:

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