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FIRST Lego League Robotics Overview Henry Kautz April 1, 2008 FIRST Lego League Robotics Overview Henry Kautz April 1, 2008

Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL team? What was Brighton’s participation in FLL? What local resources are available to support families interested in FLL?

What is FIRST LEGO League (FLL)? • FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an exciting What is FIRST LEGO League (FLL)? • FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an exciting and fun international robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology in kids ages 9 to 14. • Each year FLL teams embark on an adventurous Challenge based on current, real-world issues. Guided by a team coach and assisted by mentors, the kids: – Research and solve a real-world problem based on the Challenge theme – Present their research and solutions – Build an autonomous robot using engineering concepts

Goals of FIRST Robotics • FIRST = “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Goals of FIRST Robotics • FIRST = “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” • Entice kids to think like scientists and engineers • Provide a fun, creative, hands-on learning experience • Teach kids to experiment and overcome obstacles • Build self-esteem and confidence • Inspires kid to participate in science and technology

FIRST Leagues • There are several FIRST Robotics leagues for different age groups • FIRST Leagues • There are several FIRST Robotics leagues for different age groups • FIRST Robotics Competition for high-school students – “Scratch built” large robots – Requires machine shop, $10, 000+ per year – Penfield & Webster High Schools have top US teams, R. I. T. holds huge tournament • FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students – New more affordable HS league, about $1, 000 per year • FIRST LEGO League for 9 to 14 year-olds – Uses Lego Mindstorms • Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds – New simplified version of FLL for younger kids

How Big is FIRST? • FIRST overall: – 156, 000 students – 70, 000 How Big is FIRST? • FIRST overall: – 156, 000 students – 70, 000 volunteers – 3, 000 sponsors • FIRST Lego League: – 10, 000 teams – 100, 000 students – 38 countries – 440 tournaments • The Finger Lakes region is a FIRST hotbed!

What Happens in FLL • Teams of up to 10 kids and one or What Happens in FLL • Teams of up to 10 kids and one or more adult mentors meet for about 3 months each fall • Teams research and put together a presentation about that year’s topic – E. g. : energy, oceans, nanotechnology, … • Teams build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot that performs tasks that represent the topic in a model Lego world • Teams show off and are judged on their work in regional and national tournaments

Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL team? What was Brighton’s participation in FLL? What local resources are available to support families interested in FLL?

Step One: Find a Coach • Coaches can be: parents, teachers, engineers, university students, Step One: Find a Coach • Coaches can be: parents, teachers, engineers, university students, etc. – Need not be a computer expert, but requires dedication & willingness to learn along the team – Key job: direct the process the team follows to solve the Robotic Challenge without providing the solution – Registers the team, point of contact with the League • The coach must be prepared to make a serious time commitment: – 90 minute weekly meeting September through November – Additional weekend meetings as tournament nears

Step Two: Find the Kids • An FLL team will have 3 to 10 Step Two: Find the Kids • An FLL team will have 3 to 10 children, ages 9 to 14 – Kids can come from many different schools, after school programs, scouts, religious groups, neighborhood groups, etc. • There is currently no official mechanism for matching existing teams with kids looking for a team • Some ways to find a team or kids: – Meeting kids & parents at Mindstorms summer camps (described later) – Run an announcement in your school’s newsletter – Meetings like this!

Step Three: Find Mentors • The coach recruits several adult mentors to help with Step Three: Find Mentors • The coach recruits several adult mentors to help with general tasks such as: – Researching the challenge topic – Helping the kids put together their presentations – Providing snacks and helping with crowd control during the meetings – Building a wooden table for the team’s practice playing field – Typically team parents • Expert mentors may also be called in to help with programming and robot design – Students at Penfield High School, R. I. T. , and UR – Employees at Harris and other high tech firms

Step Four: Find a Place to Meet • Teams can meet at a parent’s Step Four: Find a Place to Meet • Teams can meet at a parent’s home, at a school, at a church, at a community center … • Need a place where a playing field table and boxes of Legos can be stored • When will your team meet? • How will kids get to the meeting? • Important: does the liability insurance policy of the meeting place cover the meetings?

Step Five: Register and Buy Team Materials • Register your team at www. firstlegoleague. Step Five: Register and Buy Team Materials • Register your team at www. firstlegoleague. org • Order your Mindstorms NXT kit (education base set plus “resource kit”) and field setup kit (differs each year) – If you already have the “toy store” version of NXT, you can order just the resource kit and rechargeable battery

Cost Summary Item FLL Team Registration Fee Cost $200 Comments Yearly Playing Field Setup Cost Summary Item FLL Team Registration Fee Cost $200 Comments Yearly Playing Field Setup Kit Mindstorms NXT Educational Set $65 $325 Yearly Reusable Regional Tournament registration $50 Yearly Practice Table About $50 Optional Team spirit: T-shirts, buttons $50 Yearly Storage boxes, extension cords About $50 Resusable TOTAL First year: $790 Next: $365

Ways to Handle Costs • Split evenly among team • Coach buys and keeps Ways to Handle Costs • Split evenly among team • Coach buys and keeps Mindstorms kit, splits other costs • Get sponsorships from local business – Not just high tech companies: also local stores, restaurants • Hold fundraising events over the summer: car washes, yard work, …

Step Six: Hold Meetings • Starting in September (2 nd week of school) meet Step Six: Hold Meetings • Starting in September (2 nd week of school) meet weekly • Schedule a few extra meetings right before regional tournament for “fine tuning”

Planning Meetings • Make a simple lesson plan for each meeting – time will Planning Meetings • Make a simple lesson plan for each meeting – time will go quickly! • Example: 3: 40 – 3: 50: Kids gather, have snack 3: 50 – 4: 10: Discuss ideas for solving the “deploy solar panel” robot challenge 4: 10 – 4: 45: Break into 3 groups: Group A: work on building robot Group B: work on programming Group C: work on building playing field structures 4: 45 – 5: 00: Run around outside until parents come!

Meeting Goals Foster teamwork Make sure everyone is listened to Positive discussions of different Meeting Goals Foster teamwork Make sure everyone is listened to Positive discussions of different approaches No negative criticism! For the robot: analyze problem, build, program, test, re-design, re-build… • For the project: ask questions, research, explore creative ways to present solutions, practice • • •

Programming • Mindstorms provides a wonderful introduction to computer programming! • Don’t be intimidated! Programming • Mindstorms provides a wonderful introduction to computer programming! • Don’t be intimidated! • Many of your kids may already be familiar with it: let experienced kids teach others! • Great to have several laptops available, so kids can work in groups of 2

Step Seven: Attend Tournament • Register for tournament in November • Rochester area has Step Seven: Attend Tournament • Register for tournament in November • Rochester area has so many teams there is a 2 stage tournament: – Qualifying tournament in early December – 13 teams from each move on to Regional tournament at UR two weeks later • Awards for teamwork, presentations, robot performance, …

Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL team? What was Brighton’s participation in FLL? What local resources are available to support families interested in FLL?

2007 Brighton Teams • Last fall, 3 parent led and sponsored teams of kids 2007 Brighton Teams • Last fall, 3 parent led and sponsored teams of kids from French Road Elementary School formed – Flightless Chickens (coach: Henry Kautz) – Brighton. Bots (coach: Jennifer Kruschwitz) – Retro Rochester Robots (coach: Valeria Sinclair. Chapman) • FRES had no official involvement – Many other Rochester-area schools do sponsor teams – Needs teacher(s) excited about FIRST, supported by school administration

2007 Challenge • 2007 theme: Power Puzzle • Project: – Perform an energy audit 2007 Challenge • 2007 theme: Power Puzzle • Project: – Perform an energy audit of a community building • Wegmans in Pittsford Plaza • Brighton Town Hall – Learn about energy conservation & alternative energy • Tour of UR Laser Fusion Lab • Robot challenge: – Deploy alternative energy resources in a model village

Brighton. Bots Brighton. Bots

Brighton. Bots Brighton. Bots

Flightless Chickens Flightless Chickens

Flightless Chickens Flightless Chickens

More Chickens More Chickens

Rochester Retro Robots Rochester Retro Robots

Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL Outline • • What is FLL? How do you start and run an FLL team? What was Brighton’s participation in FLL? What local resources are available to support families interested in FLL?

Summer Camps • Your child can get experience with Lego Robotics through – Summer Summer Camps • Your child can get experience with Lego Robotics through – Summer camps at the Rochester Museum of Science (2 week sessions) – 3 -Day summer FLL mini-camps at Penfield High School • contact: Ray Mulgrew [email protected] com • Ray is a Harris employee who is an incredibly active volunteer in all aspects of FIRST robotics

Rolling Thunder • The Penfield HS Rolling Thunder team helps advise and start FIRST Rolling Thunder • The Penfield HS Rolling Thunder team helps advise and start FIRST Robotics and FLL teams throughout the region • http: //www. penfieldrobotics. com

Lego Education • Lego Education sells Mindstorm-based curriculums for schools to use to teach Lego Education • Lego Education sells Mindstorm-based curriculums for schools to use to teach science and math through robotics • http: //www. legoeducation. com Exploration Mars: Take your students on the field trip of their lives – to the Red Planet! This challenge takes teams of four students through 60 hours of activities and curriculum contained in two main challenges, each of which fully integrates math, science, and technology into exciting inquiry-based activities.

Links US FIRST Lego League: http: //www. usfirst. org Finger Lake FIRST: http: //www. Links US FIRST Lego League: http: //www. usfirst. org Finger Lake FIRST: http: //www. firstrochester. org/ Penfield High School Rolling Thunder: http: //www. penfieldrobotics. com LEGO Mindstorms home: http: //mindstorms. lego. com/ This Presentation: http: //henrykautz. org/FIRST