Having The STEM Winner Present


We were discussing something, and I just wanted to get the community’s opinion. We have left many competitions asking, what did the STEM winner do to win? With the presentations given in a closed room, it’s hard for our kids to know what to do to improve. We are holding an event in a few weeks, and we were wondering, What if we had the STEM winner give their presentation to everyone? It would highlight them, and also show the other teams what a winning presentation looks like. I think this would really accelerate the learning curve. Just like the students see other students’ robots and reverse engineer them, reverse engineering the stem presentation also seems like a good learning experience. What do you think?

I’m doing video submission for the STEM project and a judges award this year at my event and plan on playing the winning videos at the start of the awards ceremony and playing a loop of all entries during the event in the pits. I’m using schooltube.com as the platform for submissions

“We have left many competitions asking, what did the STEM winner do to win?”
I have seen on the rec/vex website a link to sample STEM presentation. It is a link from youtube, presented by hawaii team. STEM presentation is like any other. A publicly available rubric is used to judge. The rest is just preparation, following the process, and presentation skills.

Official RECFoundation example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hICJjOytjD4

Although we have asked that question many times, it was mostly on what the topic was. That was the end of that, everything else is all about the team’s originality, etc.

Many teams display a poster board of the STEM project. That is one way to find out about the topic.

Interesting idea though. I think, this being a kid-oriented competition, the reactions will be very mixed. I would defer to the kids entirely. If someone wanted to post a video it would be general. You will see this video approach in current vex middle/high school. Actual presentation in its entirety is subjective and not sure if the team would want to post that early. If its after the season or after worlds, for example, then that would be a different story.

As for video submissions, this poses another issue as well. It is up the event partner and its participants. Wonder how comfortable they are and how honest they are with agreeing with that. There will be interesting responses. I can think of handful of adults that would agree to this from the multiple teams we have (the ones I am thinking of have also never looked at the example until we literally played it on an ipad). Moving on. For example, if the team really needs to be at this event or not. If the team has qualified before, would that team really want to go to this particular event that has this requirement? If this method was mandated by vex, everyone would have to do this and across divisions.

I wish they would at least try to give the teams with STEM projects room to set up any boards / displays out where they can be seen. At most of the tournaments we’ve gone to this year, all STEM information is kept in a closed room that isn’t accessible unless doing the actual presentation. We can’t even admire & talk about the displays! Amusingly, at the last place we went they didn’t have a place for STEM at all (no place was planned and presentations ended up being done in a tiny, smelly storage room) so several teams just put their displays up at the pits by default; it was the most interesting connection we’ve had with several teams, as we all got a chance to check each other’s info out and chit chat about them. We learned more about the STEM projects in play from that accidental planning error than we have in the last 2 months of competitions!

It is our first year doing STEM and we would really have liked to be able to see more of the “goings on” and watch some actual live presentations to get a better feel for how we were doing and what others were doing. I guess we were doing ok, though, as we won a couple STEM awards! However, a different team won STEM at both the last couple competitions & we wish we knew what they were doing different / better / ?? to see what we could tweak. I’d definitely watch videos of local projects!

At State and Worlds, one adult is allowed. Except for 1 instance last year, it is normal practice to allow at least one adult into the presentation room. Although we could have asked for that, we let it be. Several times in the past, multiple adults were allowed. Several times, there was just a big line (queue) of teams for presentation, one after the other. Its just the setting. Also when we first did stem, it took us 4 tries (scrimmages) before we won one. It was all about the kids mood, attitude, etc. As you have realized, with practice, it becomes easier. As for this year, one of our teams has all new kids with 2 experienced, while one team has more experienced kids with about 2 new kids… Want to guess who did better… The team with more new kids (on their first try), as they practiced more, while the others fumbled.

As for displays, they are normally at the pits, either on table or on floor in front of the table (ignoring spaciousness, make use of available). In the presentation room, the kids just place it in front of them or to the side. We never had an opportunity to setup or anything like that. The team takes with them whatever they want to show, place it wherever they can once in that “room”/area, remember to take everything back when done, and then store in the pits. Each team presents differently based on the topic. First year, we just had a slide print outs. Second year we also had poster board, etc and used laptop instead of printing slides … (Each choice is by the kids though we give options … laptop was also requested by the kids not adult making them use it).

I also did video submission for STEM project and it is a well-maintained project. I also have a website through which you can contact our experts and solve all your issues related to HP printer by HP Printer Support

Gonna have to disagree with you on the “It is normal practice to allow one adult into the presentation room”

From the relevant section of the manual:

Your team will have up to four (4) additional minutes to answer questions and share more information on your research, for a total judging session of up to eight (8) minutes. Only students are allowed in the judging room with the judges unless:

An adult is requested as a chaperone when only one judge Is present.

An adult is needed to support student(s) with special needs.

That document is found here: https://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2014/08/vex-iq-adult-chaperone-policy-2.pdf

I would run this by RECF first. All of their materials indicate that presentations will be done at the competition.