- Another season has come and gone. I’ve learned heaps of new skills, met more life-long friends, and learned about another exciting field of technology. This past weekend FLL in Australia hit its climax–the Sydney Regional/Australian National Competition. We had teams from New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia attending. In addition to those 50 teams, we had a team attend virtually via Skype from Western Australia. The event was the largest FLL competition ever held in Australia and was so much fun!
To start the day off, the Dean of Macquarie University (where the event was held) welcomed all the students and introduced a very special guest who flew in special just for the event! Her Excellency Susanne Shine–Ambassador from Denmark to Australia!!! The students all loved hearing from a true Dane to start off the event. We all learned a little more about LEGO. Did you know LEGO comes from two Danish words meaning “play well,” and is Latin for “to learn?” After opening ceremonies everyone headed off to either judging sessions or table rounds.
I was very excited to head off with the team I have been coaching to technical judging. Before the session, the students were very nervous. When they walked out, I don’t think they could have been more excited. Their fear of the judges was gone (I think this is partially due to the crazy red hair one judge was wearing and the antlers sported by the second judge…) and it was replaced by an enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It was great to see them so excited.
Their other judging sessions and table rounds went well, but for me their real “ah-ha!” moment came in that technical judging room. They saw themselves for the first time as future technology professionals and realised “hey, I can do this!” Their public speaking abilities peaked and they were so excited about engineering. It was amazing.
In the upcoming weeks I will be writing more about this great event and some of the teams I met there. Keep an eye out for articles about the Australian National champions and Coach of the Year!