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Team Tips

Quick Help for Taking on the Research Project


QUESTION:

We are a rookie team this year and are struggling with the parameters of the presentation project. Are the teams suppose to present their findings from the energy audit for their presentation? We weren't sure if they were to do that or perform a skit involving alternative energy sources (i.e. present a problem/solution). Any word of advice to our team would be greatly appreciated.

Kent
Team NRG coach


ANSWER:

First I'm sure you've read the project definition:

http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=29630

  1. Select a building in your community and evaluate the energy use.
  2. Talk to experts and propose solutions to reduce consumption or move toward alternative energy use.
  3. Share the changes for your building with the community.

Note: Explain how you completed all THREE parts of the Project, its purpose, and solutions. Share your presentation in order to qualify for project awards at qualifying and championship tournaments.

Next to your question: Your presentation alternatives are basically open. Judges are looking for clear, creative, presentations that show that the students have learned about the topic and key points (see note above).

Remember, you have five minutes for setup and presentation. Therefore make sure that your team can walk in and start. For example, a couple of years ago we did an animated short as part of our presentation. Since setting up projectors, etc. is just too time consuming we made a self-contained AV cart with a flat-screen, power supply, speakers, etc. Presentations have run from full blown dramatic presentations, to PPT shows, and demonstrations (see second photo). Our Team 2 made an underwater habitat and demonstrated the pressure issues with a compressor (which of course was pre-charged). In 2007 we did a Scuba Shop skit to demonstrate our Nano-tech diving suit (third photo).

I cannot emphasize this more emphatically. You MUST have your team prepared to give a terse, well-structured presentation. Don't try to do elaborate setups or big productions unless you have team members who can pull it off. DO have good materials, hand outs, and prepared students.

Here's what we are doing this year:

  1. Select a building in your community and evaluate the energy use.
    We have identified an 1830's boarding house that has been converted to an office and apartments. Our team is building an architectural model to show the improvements. They will analyze the previous energy usage and the current usage with modifications.
     
  2. Talk to experts and propose solutions to reduce consumption or move toward alternative energy use.
    They will then see what can be done to further improve the building's energy use using the model.
     
  3. Share the changes for your building with the community.
    We will be presenting to some school groups and at a local library as well as some technology companies.

In this case they will present their model, discuss the current modifications to the house and the proposed changes using model items. Hopefully they will be able to discuss the the gas-filled windows, improved insulation, high-efficiency heating/cooling devices already installed.

I think you can see that you could do many types of creative presentations.

This year's presentation is a bit different than past ones. It is more specific. So as I said in my '7 Tips' document  is it important to present something. Focus on good communication of research. Seek creative approaches if you have time.

 

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