The FIRST® Core Values are a part of everything we do in FIRST® LEGO® League, so how can you be sure that your team shares how you do Core Values with the judges?  We asked some of our World Festival Head Judges for tips to help teams recognize the importance of the Core Values throughout the season, and how to share your Core Values with judges at events.

Core Values start on day 1!  Here are some ideas for during team meetings:

  • Set goals at the beginning of the season. Team members could keep notes on how and why they chose their Project ideas, robot missions, and robot designs.  They might want to create a process to track their progress toward their goals.
  • Have the team members decide how they will make decisions, divide the work, and make sure everyone is included during the season.  Will they always vote?  Reach consensus?  Assign everyone to lead a task?
  • Try coming up with a way for team members to recognize and document when other team members demonstrate Core Values.  For example, you could make a poster with each Core Value to display in your meeting space.  Provide sticky notes for the students to write down when they notice another team member working well together, learning something new, or persevering through a difficult task. Bring the poster with you to judging!  (Remember to take the poster and all other materials with you when you leave the judging session.)
  • Encourage team members to come up with creative ideas for both their Project and robot.  It’s okay to find inspiration from elsewhere – just be sure to write down where the idea came from and how the team modified it to work better or applied it in a new way.

Judging sessions at events are the time for your team’s Core Values to shine! 

  • Get ready for judging by reviewing the Judging Session Flow Chart.  You’ll give a live 5-minute presentation about the team’s Innovation Project and a 5-minute Robot Design explanation.  The judges will spend about 3 minutes asking the team questions about Core Values. 
  • Judges will be looking for the team’s Core Values during the whole judging session and may ask Core Values related questions during Innovation project and Robot Design Q & A times.  For example, if the judges ask “how did you decide on this design?” they will use the answer to help them complete the Teamwork criteria on the Core Values Rubric.  They may ask “what was the most helpful resources you used in your research?” to help them understand how you used Discovery.
  • Most events will not expect or allow teams to give a prepared presentation during the Core Values Reflection.  You can contact your Tournament Director to confirm.
  • Help the judges complete the rubric by incorporating the Core Values key words into the team’s presentations.  The team might share what they discovered about their Innovation Project topic, how the team came up with creative ideas, how they showed persistence in testing the robot, and what they found challenging and how they overcame it.
  • Demonstrate how the team members work together during judging.  If there are experts in specific tasks, they might direct a judge’s question to the team member who can best answer it.  If a team member gets overwhelmed during judging, other team members can give them a supportive elbow squeeze or a cue to help remember what to say.
  • The Core Values reflection is also a great time to talk about how the coach supported the team.  Don’t forget that team members can nominate their coaches to be recognized with a Coach/Mentor Award – ask your Tournament Director how.
  • Gracious professionalism is scored at the game table too!  Referees will be awarding points for Core Values as part of the robot game scores.

What are your team’s favorite Core Values activities? Let us know on social media using #SUPERPOWERED, and be sure to tag @FIRSTLEGOLeague!