1. Must teams compete in the regional showcase to attend the state tournament?
Ans: The Regional Showcase is an optional event for our teams to practice their performance in front of our newly trained Appraisers as a “dry-run”. The appraisers will provide feedback about your solution at that time. It’s a very good experience for the team to see how the Affiliate Tournament will be like. About 60-70% of our teams participate in the Showcase. Think of it as a “dress-rehearsal”. Your team will receive their score. It’s a way for them to step back and say – “hey, what else are we missing?” We strongly encourage the team to participate in the Showcase, regardless of how much your solution has progressed at that time.
2. I see that it is mandatory to send an appraiser or pay the $425 fee. The problem is that we are a Title 1 school and I can’t find anyone willing to be an appraiser. We also can’t afford the extra amount. Is there anyway we can get an exemption the first year?
Ans: In order to hold our tournaments for the teams, it takes an army of volunteers. Our first and most important group of volunteers are our Team Managers, like yourself (so thank you!). Our second, critical group of volunteers are our Appraisers. We need approximately 100-125 Appraisers to hold our Tournament this year (pretty amazing, huh). GA DI will have some core Appraisers that join our program, independent of teams because they love the experience. But, we desperately need each team to provide one Appraiser volunteer. The Appraiser can be ANY adult who can commit to the training, appraising at one Regional Showcase and the Affiliate Tournament. The adult can be a parent, a fellow teacher, your principal, a friend or neighbor or other co-worker. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss further about this.
3. Can you explain the choice element more or possibly give an example?
Ans: Team Choice Elements give your team members a chance to really show off their skills, talents, interests, and areas of strength. Your team may create anything it wishes for Team Choice Elements [that is not already a scored element]. Think of it as an opportunity for the kids to “shine”! Here is a link from our New York Affiliate that give some great additional information that might help.