As a long-time volunteer, mentor and administrator at FIRST Australia, I have a passion for simplifying the processes surrounding events to make sure all participants have a great time. These systems always work behind the scenes, and I'm always open to feedback that make them faster, easier and more useful.
The FIRST LEGO League Scheduling Tool helps tournament directors manage the complicated and difficult process of scheduling their teams to compete throughout the day. As FIRST Australia's technical assistant for five years, I had to generate a lot of tournament schedules personally; sometimes I used the old, clunky tools provided by the international organisation, while other times I just grabbed a spreadsheet and had at it. Throughout those years, I started to develop algorithms to minimise the effort required while achieving optimal results for the children and volunteers who had to abide by the schedule.
Since 2017, this tool has been used by tournament directors all over Australia, and providing great feedback to debug and improve the user experience. Just fill in the details for your tournament and click "generate". It's that easy!
The scheduler can also process complicated requests: Do you have a team who knows they'll arrive late because they have a long way to travel? No problem - the scheduler can make sure they aren't scheduled on until they get there! Are some of your teams from out of town and need a translator during their judging sessions? Easy - the scheduler will make sure they always get an extra 5 minutes during judging! Are there conflicts of interest? Don't worry about it - you can move teams around so you know exactly who each judge will see!
Tournament in a BoxLink
The Tournament in a Box was designed to take the FLL Scheduler a step further - since you have to enter your tournament details anyway, TIAB takes that data and produces EVERYTHING a tournament director needs - schedules, signage, certificates, powerpoints, and more! On top of that, TIAB even tells you how many of each resource need to be printed out, based on years of tournament running experience.
Integrating all the same features as the FLL scheduler, plus more, TIAB can be run offline with an installer or as a standalone portable executable, and removes much of the careful planning required to host a FIRST LEGO League tournament.
The primary goal of a FIRST tournament is to build excitement to really inspire students to go into STEM. One thing that always pumps up a crowd is to play music for the award winners, but of course you have to start each song at the exciting bit!
At FIRST Australia's Sydney events, we have used a selection of pre-cut music for years, manually fading in and out during the closing ceremonies. This can at times be difficult and technical, and of course the files are only available locally. The Award Soundboard fixes these problems by providing pre-cut closing music to everybody, with an extremely simple interface, ensuring anyone can turn up the inspiration!
As with TIAB, the award soundboard is available online but can also be acquired as an offline installer or portable distribution for events with no WiFi access. Furthermore, the interface has been designed to work on mobile devices as well as desktops.
NB: Due to Fair Use copyright regulations, the award soundboard can be used for educational purposes only, so DO NOT use this tool outside of FIRST events.
The OpenCV Integrated Development environment is a standalone application designed to minimise the effort required to learn and prototype computer vision algorithms using the open-source OpenCV library. More details can be found at the link above.