Judging Chat Session - 8 July

celiaeinhorn (13:42:34):
Friends, thanks for trying WebCT once again.
celiaeinhorn (13:43:29):
I just spoke with Mike Trahan and Tom Laub and they can't get into the chatroom on WebCT at all and they do not have yahoo installed, so we will do this internally...
nickbenn (13:43:48):
celiaeinhorn (13:43:55):
Nick and David have been judges. So they can lead us in a discussion!
celiaeinhorn (13:44:15):
Let's just do Q and A!
nickbenn (13:44:22):
Sounds perfect.
nickbenn (13:44:40):
My preference, FWIW, is to type the questions & answers; that way we can capture them for a transcript.
celiaeinhorn (13:45:12):
nickbenn (13:45:13):
If you want to use voice to make a comment, that you don't think warrants transcription, that's ok
nickbenn (13:45:19):
FWIW = For What It's Worth
celiaeinhorn (13:45:30):
nickbenn (13:46:03):
Irene is often a judge as well, no?
celiaeinhorn (13:46:10):
There is a really good rubric at http://www.challenge.nm.org/AwardsDay/poster_session_rubric.html
celiaeinhorn (13:46:33):
Irene is currently working on the palms for tomorrow so we can do another simulation!
nickbenn (13:46:44):
Ah ok :) Cool!
nickbenn (13:46:51):
Yes, that is a good rubric.
irene_anne_lee (13:46:51):
i'm sort of here
celiaeinhorn (13:47:16):
It talks about a problem statement, math model, computational model, results and code.
celiaeinhorn (13:47:20):
Sound familar?
nickbenn (13:47:45):
Does anyone have questions as to how the judges do the evaluations, either at the expo, to select finalists, to pick winners - or in the intermediate evaluations?
celiaeinhorn (13:48:23):
First for Betty and Mavis, there are Feb. evaluations at San Juan for you all and the teams. I think Mavis' teams went last year.
betty_strong2004 (13:48:55):
Yes, we were there.
nickbenn (13:49:05):
Do we have anyone from southern NM with us?
celiaeinhorn (13:49:06):
That is the place to get the judges really interested in your projects. They will give advice and really like to have there advice adhered to.
nickbenn (13:49:30):
True, Celia: A comment often made in the expo and finalist judging is something like....
celiaeinhorn (13:49:39):
Not at this time. They go to Eastern or Alamogordo or NMSU or Silver
nickbenn (13:49:52):
"This team did a really good job, acting on the counsel that they got in the interim judging."
nickbenn (13:50:30):
Or, the negative version: "This team doesn't seem to have paid much attention at the interim, and they didn't avoid the pitfalls we warned them about."
nickbenn (13:50:36):
The judges remember that stuff.
celiaeinhorn (13:50:50):
We all like to be listened to and especially our judges. :-?
nickbenn (13:50:59):
I mean, do we have any of those folks, in the STI?
irene_anne_lee (13:51:13):
I have a question on how programs are evaluated, do the judges actually run them? I guess we saw some demos during expo but we did not have the executable to run on our own time. Should we?
celiaeinhorn (13:51:47):
Folx from southern NM, Nick? Dianne, Alan, Beckey
chidhkratzer (13:51:53):
In an idea world, the judges would be able to run the project codes.
irene_anne_lee (13:52:06):
how far away from that are we/
nickbenn (13:52:09):
When the teams make Excel spreadsheets, or Java applets, available online with their final reports, I do make an effort to run 'em.
celiaeinhorn (13:52:40):
We were thinking of having them available to run on Mode! But very time consuming for the judges.
chidhkratzer (13:52:47):
We thought about requiring all programs to have running codes on mode, but interactivity to make that happen is a problem.
celiaeinhorn (13:52:52):
I think most of them really look at code and what the students say!
nickbenn (13:52:57):
(The same is true of StarLogo code that can be downloaded.) If the Java is not in the form of an applet embedded in a web page, it really depends on the amount of time I have.
celiaeinhorn (13:54:00):
So Mavis, Shirley, Betty? How did your students feel after the Feb. evaluations?
nickbenn (13:54:13):
That's pretty true, Celia: We look at the code, and if we can quickly see that it probably does what the students say, we don't dig deeply into the code - unless it is in a particular judge's area of expertise.
nickbenn (13:54:46):
Nonetheless, the more "toys" you give the judges to play with, the better.
celiaeinhorn (13:55:45):
This coming year all the teams will get immediate feedback. We video tape and give feedback to the finalists teams but this year all teams will get feedback!
nickbenn (13:56:41):
(We need to make sure we change the judge's forms for that.)
celiaeinhorn (13:57:01):
Yes, we do, Nick!
celiaeinhorn (13:57:20):
So then all the written reports go to all the judges!
celiaeinhorn (13:57:38):
I think most judges place them in three piles: Yes, No, and Maybe
betty_strong2004 (13:57:42):
both groups were discouraged because we didn't know how to program. Another comment that was made dealt with technology. where they did their feb presentation could not accomodate their zip disk. Unfortunately, they presented without their powerpoint presentation and had to draw and try to remember everything .
celiaeinhorn (13:58:16):
so we need to remember to ask for a zip disk
nickbenn (13:58:23):
I cannot recommend the USB-based technology highly enough.
celiaeinhorn (13:58:28):
Wow that is pretty discouraging for your teams!
betty_strong2004 (13:58:56):
This year, we have CD burners, so we can copy them to a CD
celiaeinhorn (13:59:05):
Once the winning team had two laptops fail and they had stopped at Kinko's on the way up and make overheads!
celiaeinhorn (13:59:12):
CD's would work!
nickbenn (13:59:17):
If at all possible, try to put everything on one of the USB-based memory devices, and/or a CD-R, whether or not the team also brings their own laptop.
nickbenn (14:00:08):
(I recommend that for both interims and finals.)
celiaeinhorn (14:01:18):
so the written report is vital for the first group of finalist!
celiaeinhorn (14:01:55):
Shiprock has their English teacher work with the students on their final reports. And grades them as a research paper!
nickbenn (14:02:13):
That's very cool!
celiaeinhorn (14:03:24):
So the judges do like a triage and they have a voice conference and vote on the finalists
nickbenn (14:03:38):
Yes, a wonderfully contentious phone call :)
celiaeinhorn (14:03:44):
Let me say something about the judges!
celiaeinhorn (14:03:54):
Ok, Celia, go right ahead.
celiaeinhorn (14:03:59):
Thank you! <grin>
nickbenn (14:04:02):
celiaeinhorn (14:04:15):
They are really advocates for your kids.
celiaeinhorn (14:04:47):
I remember once a student from Portales had a strep infection and kept losing his voice and the judges were so concerned about him!
celiaeinhorn (14:05:15):
So, if they remember your teams from the Feb. evals, this is a good thing!
celiaeinhorn (14:05:44):
And the six top teams seem to fall out after about one half hour or so.
nickbenn (14:06:38):
Very true. The judges get very passionate about advocating for the teams.
celiaeinhorn (14:06:44):
Then there is the Expo at LANL! (Thanks, David, for all you do for that event!)
celiaeinhorn (14:07:02):
All teams need to do a display and will have 20 minutes to present!
celiaeinhorn (14:07:27):
About six more teams get chosen that morning to be finalists in the afternoon.
celiaeinhorn (14:07:43):
There are two sets of judges, finalists, and expo judges.
nickbenn (14:07:49):
Sometimes it's because a judge has seen the team in the interim, and knows that the team has come a long way, and done very impressive work. Some other times, it's because a judge has expertise in the area of the team's project, and knows (better than some of the other judges) that the team has done something quite challenging.
celiaeinhorn (14:08:11):
Most of the finalist judges are also interim judges.
shirleybirdteach (14:08:44):
I think the mentor has a great effect. Some teams that live in the Alb area are at a slight advantage as they can work with university proff
shirleybirdteach (14:08:52):
face to face
celiaeinhorn (14:08:53):
I love the idea of the Expo where students get to see other teams' work and to be judged.
celiaeinhorn (14:09:27):
Yes, Shirley, winning teams have said that they couldn't have done it without their mentor!
shirleybirdteach (14:09:50):
That's where my students have a little problem, I'm not sure why
celiaeinhorn (14:10:10):
But quite honestly, that written report is a main indicator of a finalist team!
nickbenn (14:10:17):
True, SHirley. Mentors are critical. But the schools far from Albuquerque shouldn't despair: there are a number of mentors who are more than willing to drive a few hours each way, once a month, and then coordinate by e-mail and phone in-between the visits.
celiaeinhorn (14:10:32):
Finding mentors, Shirley or what?
shirleybirdteach (14:10:47):
Finding mentors that work well with them I guess
shirleybirdteach (14:11:01):
Some didn't respond very well, didn't answer emails
celiaeinhorn (14:11:07):
Mavis and Betty, we have a mentor database at http://www.challenge.nm.org/mentors
celiaeinhorn (14:11:24):
Then write immediately to consult and ask for assistance
nickbenn (14:11:27):
A note about communication with mentors:
celiaeinhorn (14:12:04):
Every year David and I contact mentors to see if they are still available. Will try to be clearer with them what we expect of them!
shirleybirdteach (14:12:28):
celiaeinhorn (14:12:48):
Betty and Mavis, if you have any questions during the year, just write to consult@challenge.nm.org and you will get some answers
betty_strong2004 (14:12:54):
nickbenn (14:13:07):
The students will almost always need to make the effort to get connected with the mentor. If the mentor says "Yes, I can help you - get in touch with me after you get to point X," or "Get in touch with me at the kickoff", "...after the new year," the students need to do just that.
celiaeinhorn (14:13:25):
And let us know which mentors do not respond so that we can rap 'em across their typing fingers!
celiaeinhorn (14:14:49):
David said at Awards Day! All our students are winners! and I second that emotion!
nickbenn (14:14:57):
A note about presentations:
shirleybirdteach (14:15:29):
My students do like to participate, compete and attend Awards Day
nickbenn (14:15:41):
For expo and finalist presentations, and to a lesser extent the interim presentations, I cannot stress the value of rehearsal enough. The teams should practice giving the presentation (multiple times) for peers, teachers, etc.
celiaeinhorn (14:15:54):
We are a strange combo of a competition and a learning community.
celiaeinhorn (14:16:16):
Yes, Nick! Invite the parents in and do the presentations for them!
celiaeinhorn (14:16:49):
Anita in Santa Fe starts this in Jan. Invite the principal, that english teacher who helped, etc.
celiaeinhorn (14:17:01):
Then they are ready for Feb. and April!
nickbenn (14:17:21):
It would also be a good idea if at least one such presentation is given under less-than-ideal circumstances: e.g. they have to load all their files from CD or USB drive onto an unfamiliar computer.
celiaeinhorn (14:18:09):
And visuals...are so important to any presentation!
celiaeinhorn (14:18:16):
Charts, graphs, pix, etc.
celiaeinhorn (14:19:14):
And I think this year, I would like to talk to Consult (David, Nick, Irene, Betsy and me, mostly) to have a minimal amount of diverse sources in a proper bibliography!
celiaeinhorn (14:19:34):
Any thoughts or questions?
nickbenn (14:23:38):
Sounds like we're done :)
celiaeinhorn (14:24:09):
Sounds that way to me.
celiaeinhorn (14:24:29):
Thanks, Nick! You have been a great help all these two weeks!
celiaeinhorn (14:24:47):
Betty and Mavis, consult@challenge.nm.org
celiaeinhorn (14:24:51):