By: Khaled Marashdeh
In my previous reflections on the FLL-OEC 2010, I focused on some examples of the best practices made by the volunteers and coaches. To complement the message, I would like to shed light on the event through the eyes of a volunteering judge.
Part 3: Judges
Having a diverse group of participants working coherently under one ceiling to excel in Robotics is a great achievement and success. That was clearly revealed in an interview with Margo de Groot Coenen; an FLL volunteer judge. “It is fantastic to see kids from Jordan, Israel, Turkey, and Australia as well as from all over the world in one place. It’s like Olympic Games for kids with LEGO. That has really been amazingly achieved” said Margo.
For the past three years, Margo was co-organizing FLL in the Netherlands by searching for sponsors and facilitating the communication. In June 2011, Margo became a Project Presentation Judge. She was so devoted to the event that she was crying during the opening ceremonies. According to her, cultural barriers and differences were demolished among the participants. “That’s what we desperately need in a polarized world where people tend not to understand and accept each other. FLL surpasses culture… surpasses language… it makes the world become normal … it bridges the barriers… It’s very touching” she added.
As a mater of fact, I strongly support Margo’s standpoint as I understand the implicit mission of the FLL which is to bring youngsters together in addition to fostering their science and technology skills. However, I wouldn’t be able to express Margo’s entire thoughts in this regard. As such, I would advise each one of you to visit her blog to know more about her amazing feelings.