Being overwhelmed by the project

Now that it is several weeks into the Body Forward season, many teams that I’ve talked with are now in the final stages of deciding upon a project topic. Much of the feedback that I’ve been getting (especially from rookie teams) is a concern like: “what if we can’t come up with the perfect idea” or “what if our idea isn’t good enough?”

The “Innovative Solution” section of the judges rubric focuses on three questions:
1. Do you have a solution and is it described?
2. Is data used that supports the solution?
3. Is the solution new or innovative and does it apply knowledge of science and/or technology?

The thing to notice from the rubric is that your team is not judged on how “good” your innovative idea is — that is subjective. But rather your team will be judged on how well the idea was researched, how well it is presented and whether or not your team shared their idea with their community. Thus, your team should choose an idea that THEY think is good and one that THEY can have fun researching and presenting.

I realize that there are some veteran teams that approach the project intensely. There are teams that want to have a project that they can patent or perhaps advocate with politicians. Although this can be a great way to further research and share an idea, it is not necessary for a successful project presentation.

If you or your team are feeling overwhelmed by the project – take a moment to step back and re-evaluate. Remember: although it is work to research and a challenge to come up with an innovative idea – it is still supposed to be fun.

One of the best goals that I’ve ever heard describing FLL is built into the Northern California FLL Partner Organization‘s name – you’re supposed to be playing while you’re learning — Have Fun!