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St. Dominic Sea Dragons at 2005 FLL Championship 2007 FIRST LEGO League Scot Marshall Louisiana FLL Technical Coordinator American Petroleum Institute www. La. FLL. org www. You. Tube. com/PRfor. La. FLL
Building a Team The Complete FIRST Participant • • Unique Headwear (Temporary) Hair Color Face Paint Team T-Shirt – – – • • Team Name – Sea Dragons Team Number - 5315 Yearly Theme – Ocean Odyssey Color Theme – Purple, Grn, Gld Sponsors, Logos Cheer, Song, Chant Team Buttons Team Handouts Noise Maker Posters Laptop Pit Display Pit Decorations No Advertising!
The 1 -Day Competition • 25% Design – The students perform a design review of their robot and its apparatus in front of the judges (no mentor) • 25% Performance – Best of 3 tries on the competition table - 2. 5 minutes • 25% Research – 2 minute set-up, 5 minute presentation, 5 minutes for questions, 2 -minute take-down (no mentor) • 25% Teamwork – 1 minute explanation from the judges, 7 minutes to solve as a team, 2 minutes questions (no mentor)
There’s a FIRST for Every Age Junior FIRST LEGO League (2004 Pilot) FIRST LEGO League (1998) FIRST Robotics Competition (1992) FIRST Tech Challenge (2005 Pilot) K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
FIRST is a Year-Round Activity Junior FIRST LEGO League 4 W A Basics Build 12 W A FIRST Robotics Competition HS Robotics Class ? FIRST Tech Challenge ? ? 6 W 5 W C H A M P I O N S H IP Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr Not Active in Louisiana yet
FIRST Things First For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – Began 18 years ago (1989) – A 501(c)(3) with a small staff at HQ in Manchester, NH – $20 M annual budget – $8 M in scholarships to FIRST participants last year – Over 2000 corporate sponsors – Over 60, 000 volunteers world-wide – 5 programs reach every layer of education and industry Sport for the Mind: Combining the excitement of sport with science and technology
Louisiana Participation Building Louisiana Science and Technology – A 501(c)(3) All volunteer across Louisiana & Mississippi – A core of 35 that organizes 100+ volunteers to provide: o FIRST LEGO League o Bayou Regional FIRST Robotics Competition o Educational outreach to mentors and students – Tulane University & University of New Orleans sponsor – Seeking additional corporate and private supporters – Seeking mentors to continue building the vision American Petroleum Institute
2007 FLL Challenge 2007 Power Puzzle • Est. 100, 000 kids worldwide • 10, 000 teams (15% growth) US and Canada • 65, 000 kids; 6, 500 teams • 260 Qualifying events • 70 Championship tournaments Worldwide • 35, 000 kids; 3, 500 teams from 38 countries • 130 Qualifying events • 38 Championship tournaments
FLL Challenge History • • • 1998: Pilot – 2 Tournaments 1999: First Contact – Astronauts in Space 2000: Volcanic Panic – Volcanic Eruption 2001: Arctic Impact – Arctic Research Louisiana Participation 2002: City Sights – Urban Planners 2003: Mission Mars – Robotic Exploration 2004: No Limits – World of the Disabled 2005: Ocean Odyssey – Undersea Ecology 2006: Nano Quest – Molecular Science 2007: Power Puzzle - Energy
FLL Challenge History 1998 Pilot 2000 Volcanic Panic Teams • 1. 600 kids • 2 Pilot tournaments FIRST and LEGO Company pilots the FIRST LEGO League concept. Teams • 15. 000 kids • 50 tournaments in the USA FLL International Pilot Tournament in Norway hosted by FIRST Scandinavia. 1999 FIRST Contact Teams • 9. 500 kids • 9 tournaments in the USA Official launch of the FIRST LEGO League program in the USA. 2001 Artic Impact Teams • 18, 500 kids • 59 tournaments FLL International Pilot Tournaments in the UK hosted by Young Technologists and in Germany hosted by Hands-on. Technology. 2002 City Sights Teams • 3, 001 teams • 27, 009 kids • 119 tournaments France joins FLL International with a Pilot tournament in Paris. Singapore Science Center hosts first official FLL International tournament in Singapore. 2003 Mission Mars Teams • 5, 000 teams • 42, 000 kids • 200 tournaments China, Brazil and South Korea joins FLL International with a Pilot tournaments. 2004 NO Limits Teams • 6, 000 teams • 50, 000 kids • 210 tournaments Japan, South Africa, Turkey and Mexico joins FLL International with a Pilot tournaments. 2005 Ocean Odyssey Teams • 7, 460 teams • 60, 000 kids worldwide • 56 tournaments (US) • 12 tournaments (outside US & Canada)
FLL Challenge History 2006 Nano. Quest • 88, 000 kids Worldwide • 8, 847 teams US and Canada • 56, 010 kids; 5, 601 teams • 250 Qualifying events • 63 Championship tournaments Worldwide • 32, 460 kids; 3, 246 teams from 35 countries • 112 Qualifying events • 25 Championship tournaments • Demographics • 70% Boys; 30% Girls
JFLL Challenge History 2006 Pilot • 3, 500 kids ages 6 -9 • 702 teams • US and Canada • Geared to children aged 6 to 9 years old • Utilizes a modified FIRST LEGO League (FLL) framework. • Teams of up to 6 children and an adult mentor receive a mini challenge, based on the annual FLL research project. • Uses an open-ended LEGO building set, to design a model depicting an aspect of the FLL Challenge. • Teams spend approximately one month exploring, investigating, designing and building a model made with LEGO bricks. • Teams create a "Show Me" poster that depicts the teams’ experience during this process, through drawings and words.
The NXT Generation
The FLL Team Core Values • We are a team • We have fun • We do the work to find the solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors • We honor the spirit of friendly competition • What we discover is more important than what we win • We share our experiences with others • We display gracious professionalism in all we do Gracious Professionalism: • Gracious attitudes and behaviors that are “win-win” • Gracious folks respect others and let that respect show in their actions • Gracious professionals make a valued contribution in a manner pleasing to others and themselves as they possess special knowledge and are trusted by society to use that knowledge responsibly
FIRST LEGO League Values • Respect each other in the best spirit of teamwork • Behave with courtesy and compassion for others at all times • Honor the spirit of friendly competition • Act with integrity • Demonstrate Gracious Professionalism • Focus on the experience, not the awards • Remember that the children do the work • Encourage others to adopt these values FLL succeeds most fully when team members bring the FLL values they learn back to their community
At the End of the Season… • We had fun! • We did something we didn’t think we could do • We figured out how to manage time, deal with setbacks, and communicate ideas • We respected and considered ideas from everyone on the team • We learned that research helped us better understand a problem and build a realistic solution • We learned how useful and fun applied math and science can be • We improved over last year • We helped our community The true goals of FLL have nothing to do with winning medals or trophies. If you can look back on the season and know you accomplished at least one of these goals, you have achieved the most important goal
Building a Team • Guidance, Structure, Encouragement, Fun • Mentors – Parent, Engineer, High School FRC participant, Science Professional, Graphic Artist, Volunteer, Programmer, Marketing Expert, Instructor • Team Dynamics & Work Groups – Size, Age, Team/Individual Psyche – Hardware Design, Program, Strategy, Research, Operators, Project Management, Test, Marketing, Documentation, Fundraising, Team Spirit • Rubrics (Improve, Fair, Good, Excellent) – Robot Design, Project, Teamwork & FLL Values A student once said he didn't much care for rubrics: "if you get something wrong, your teacher can prove you knew what you were supposed to do. "
Design Rubric • Innovative Design • Strategy, Process, Problem-solving • Locomotion & Navigation – Goes defined distances efficiently – Adjusts speed, position sensing for optimum speed and accuracy – Turns accurately and consistently – Allows for variables (battery discharge, obstacles) – Moves between two points with very good accuracy and consistency – May use various sensors • • Programming Kids do the Work Structural Overall Design
Project Rubric • • Topic & Language Use Completeness, Teamwork Background, Data & Graphics Analysis & Conclusions – Presentation thoroughly links to research questions – Relevance to FLL theme is clearly stated – Alternative views considered with well-supported position on issues – Conclusions are clearly supported by data – Analysis clearly relates well to research question – Original, important insights are shared • Style
Teamwork & FLL Values Rubric • Roles & Responsibilities – Clearly defined roles – Workload is distributed fairly and team members understand each other’s roles – Team members fill each other’s roles (happily!), if needed – Team members give concrete examples of learning time management • • Gracious Professionalism Problem-solving & Team Dynamics Confidence & Enthusiasm FLL Values
Sample Task Assignments Management q Project Scheduling q Rubric & Awards q Evaluation & Judging q Competition Rules q Forums Robot Competition q Strategy q Hardware Design q Software Design q Robot Operator (2) Research Project q Researcher q Script and Choreography q Research Report Team Spirit / Marketing q Team Shirt & Artwork Design q Research Project Props q Scrapbook q Press Relations q Community Outreach q Fund Raising
30 Teams Competed in 2006 • • • A. E. Phillips Middle School: Nano. Dawgs Adams Middle School: Adams Robots Baker Middle School: Roboraiders; Roboracers Dighton Prep: Battle Droids Episcopal High School: Leggo my LEGO Grace Home Educators: LEGO Maniacs; LEGO Lunatics Haynes Academy: Team Tech; Ne. XT Generation Keithville Middle School: Swamp Eagles Lake Castle Madisonville: Robo. Jets Blue; Robo. Jets Gold Linwood Middle School: Robocats 1; Robocats 2; Robocats 3 • Louisiana Tech University: Nano. Dawgs 2
30 Teams Competed in 2006 • • • Mc. Main Secondary High School: Mc. Main Tech Rays Meisler Middle School: Meisler Chiefs Metairie Park Country Day School: Robo Cajuns Nelson – UNO Charter School: The Rooks Patrick F. Taylor Science & Tech. Academy: Taylor Robots Pendergrass Family: Glory. Bots Ridgewood Middle School: Robo. Raiders Roosevelt Middle School: Rough Riders St. Dominic’s School: Molecule Masters; Atoms Family St. George's Episcopal School: St. George’s #1 St. James Science & Math Academy: S. M. A. L. L. Synergy
2006 Nano. Quest Awards • Director Award 1 st Place: Louisiana Tech University • Director Runner-Up: St. James Science & Math Academy • Robot Design Award 1 st Place: St. Dominic’s School • Robot Design Award 2 nd Place: Metairie Park Country Day School • Robot Performance Award: Louisiana Tech University • Research Presentation Award 1 st Place: Grace Home Educators • Research Presentation Award 2 nd Place: Dighton Prep • Teamwork & FLL Values Award 1 st Place: A. E. Phillips Middle School • Teamwork & FLL Values Award 2 nd Place: St. Dominic’s School • Special Judges Award – Above All Odds: Baker Middle School; Pendergrass Family • Rookie Team Award: Haynes Academy
Back-up Charts Scot Marshall Louisiana FLL Technical Coordinator www. La. FLL. org www. You. Tube. com/PRfor. La. FLL scot@La. FLL. org
The Coaches’ Promise (the really hard part!) • The children come first • • FLL is about the children having fun and getting excited about science and technology. Everything my team does starts and ends with that principle. The children do the work This is their opportunity to learn and grow. The children on my team do all the programming, research, problem solving, and building. Adults can help them find answers, but cannot give them answers or make decisions. My team is comprised of 10 or fewer members (all team members participate on only 1 team), registered as an official FLL team, and all team members are no older than 14 on January 1 st of the Challenge year. FLL communicates with my team via my primary email address, and I am responsible for reading and relaying all aspects of FLL guidelines and rules to my team, other coaches, volunteers, and parents. I will encourage my team members, other coaches, volunteers, parents, and team supporters to develop and practice a set of FLL values that reflect FIRST’s goal to challenge culture in a positive way by inspiring others through our team’s actions and words.
17 Teams Competed in 2005 • • • • Adams Middle School: Ocean Tech Baker Middle School: Terror Squad; Roboracers Keithville Middle School: Demon Eagles Linwood Middle School: The Buildaholics; The Robocats Louise S. Mc. Gehee School Meisler Middle School: Meisler Chiefs Patrick F. Taylor Science & Tech. Academy: Team 1& 2 Pineville Middle School / William Pitcher Jr. High: USS DLUECGKO Riverdale Middle School Roosevelt Middle School: Rough Riders Ridgewood Middle School: Bionicle Gladiators St. Dominic’s School: Sea Dragons St. George's Episcopal School St. James Science & Math Academy: S. M. A. L. L. Synergy
2005 -2006 Awards • • Director Award 1 st Place: Sea Dragons - St. Dominic's School Director Runner 2 nd Place: Louise S. Mc. Gehee School • Robot Design Award 1 st Place: S. M. A. L. L. Synergy - St. James Science & Math Academy Robot Design Award 2 nd Place: Louise S. Mc. Gehee School • • • Research Presentation Award 1 st Place: Ocean Tech - Adams Middle School Research Presentation Award 2 nd Place: Meisler Chiefs - Meisler Middle School Teamwork & FLL Values Award 1 st Place: Terror Squad - Baker Middle School - Team 1 Teamwork & FLL Values Award 2 nd Place: Ocean Tech - Adams Middle School • Robot Performance Award: Bionicle Gladiators - Ridgewood Middle School • Special Judges Award - Outstanding Effort: St. George's Episcopal School • Rookie Team Award: The Robocats - Linwood Middle School - Team 2
FIRST LEGO League in Louisiana 2006 Schedule Who Can Join FLL? Team Criteria Kickoff and Challenge Registration and Cost Coaching Volunteers and Mentoring Equipment and Space Tournaments Judging and Awards Grant Resources
REGISTRATION AND COST • Q. What is the cost for a team's participation in the first year of the program? A. That depends, if the team or someone on the team already has the LEGO ® MINDSTORMS™ Robotics Invention System™, the team will not need to purchase the FLL Robot Set. The cost to a team starting from scratch is about $700. The breakdown for the 2007 season is: Item Cost Feature Team Registration Fee (Non-refundable) FLL Robot Set (RCX or NXT) $325 Needed for new teams Field Setup Kit (annual game set) • • $200 $65 Could be shared among teams Possible Expenses: The cost to attend a tournament is in the range of $60. Travel expenses to a tournament. Team related items i. e. tshirts, supplies, snacks, etc.
WHO CAN JOIN FLL • • Q: Who can participate in FLL? A: FLL attracts both boys and girls' interests. The program is for 9 -14 -year olds, and is flexible enough in structure that a team can form within the school or home-school environment, as an after-school program, with a neighborhood group, or as part of any youth-based organization. Q. What are the age guidelines? A. If you have a student less than 9 years old, but think he or she will be socially and academically comfortable with the older group, that is fine. To accommodate middle school students, child participants must not be older than 14 as of January 1, 2006. It is all right if he or she turns fifteen during the year. Q: How do I join a team in my area? A: Typically, FLL is unable to assist in matching potential team members with alreadyexisting teams. Teams organize through schools, civic organizations, or neighborhood groups and do not actively seek additional members, so it may not be possible to locate a team for you. We encourage interested individuals to form their own team. Q: What is the schedule, and how do I register my team to participate? A: Teams register online on the FLL web site during the months of May through September. FLL reveals the Challenge in mid-September. October and November are the active months when teams prepare their solutions to the Challenge, and local and state tournaments occur November through January.
TEAM CRITERIA • • • Q. What is the usual team size? A. A team consists of a maximum of 10 children and a minimum of 1 adult team coach. The small-team concept works well with this age group and encourages a closely knit team. Small groups have the opportunity to split into smaller groups for different tasks, such as strategy, programming, or the research project. The very nature of LEGO products and pieces equals fun, and the friendly peer competition of FLL matches have the look and feel of smart play. Q: Do the team members need to have a science background? A: FLL motivates children not predisposed to science, math, or technology. The program is able to effectively engage children from various backgrounds, instilling new ideas and concepts in more experienced children, while helping to inspire, motivate, and encourage learning basic principles and skills among children with less experience. Through their FIRST involvement, children will also learn about important, life-long team skills such as planning, research, collaboration, mentorship, and teamwork. Q. What are teams expected to do? A. The FLL Team Manual provides teams with an overview of what the program entails. Plan on having fun initial meetings where you will decide on a team name and logo and how the team wants to present itself, such as with custom t-shirts or hats. The team members should get together and practice programming, building and team skills before the Challenge is revealed. After the Kickoff, the team will plan mission strategy and refine robot building and programming, as well as prepare its Project. While attending events and enjoying themselves, teams should follow the FIRST credo of "gracious professionalism" when associating with other teams, event attendees, judges, and referees.
KICKOFF AND CHALLENGE • • Q: What is the Challenge and how does it support education among children? A: The Challenge is the annual game that FLL reveals to its teams each September during the on-line Kickoff. Teams must determine their strategy and program their robot to accomplish various Challenge missions and accumulate points. In addition, the Challenge theme and related Project (formerly the "Research Assignment") gets teams on their way to researching and investigating current issues facing our modern world. This combined process brings the reality of science and technology to children on a more intimate, hands-on level while instilling teamwork mores. Q. What is the Kickoff, and when is it? A. The 2006 Kickoff takes place on September 15, and is the illustrated on-line presentation of the annual Challenge and its missions. Q. Can we register after the Challenge is revealed? Will we be at a disadvantage? A. Yes, you can register if there is room in the program for more teams. Once it fills, the registration option will be shut off. The majority of teams have materials and begin working as soon as the Challenge is revealed, but we do receive a large number of registrations in September. Product does not ship until payment is received, so complete the registration and payment process as soon as possible so your team does not miss valuable practice time. Q. What does a typical Challenge playing field look like? A. The Field Setup Kit is used to construct the Challenge. The kit includes LEGO elements for building mission models and a large printed plastic field mat on which you place the models. The robot interacts with both the mission models and the pattern on the field mat. It all looks like a colorful miniature obstacle course.
Features Price NXT Intelligent Brick NXT Servo Motors NXT Touch Sensor NXT Light Sensor NXT Sound Sensor NXT Ultrasonic Sensor NXT Cables NXT Converter Cables USB Cables Lamps NXT Rechargeable Battery NXT Charger Total Parts Technic Parts Storage Boxes Lab. View Software Licenses Robot Educator Course Materials Who Can Buy NXTEducation $250 1 3 1 1 7 0 1 0 0 0 577 519 0 1 ? 0 Anyone NXT Base Set $250 1 3 2 1 1 1 7 3 1 1 431 ? 1 0 Anyone FLL Robot Set $325 1 3 2 1 1 1 7 3 1 1 1102 ? 2 1 1 0 Reg. FLL Teams
2006 NXT Prices Item 979797 979841 97979833 979842 979843 979844 979845 979846 979847 979648 900077 991280 900069 Product Name LME Base Set NXT Intelligent Brick NXT Rechargeable Battery Transformer NXT Servo Motor NXT Touch Sensor NXT Light Sensor NXT Sound Sensor NXT Ultrasonic Sensor NXT Bluetooth Dongle Education Resource Set LME Software and Site License ROBOLAB 2. 9 Upgrade Price $250 $126 $48 $23 $17 $15 $23 $30 $35 $59 $42 $240 $49
Volunteering • There are multiple ways in which you can volunteer your time and money to the Louisiana FIRST LEGO League. To inquire further, follow any of these links: • Judging a Tournament • Refereeing a Tournament • Being a Technical Mentor for a Team • Coaching a Team Volunteering at the Tournament • If you just want to Volunteer to work at an event, here is a grid of all volunteer positions. • Sponsoring a Team Sponsoring the Tournament
Sponsor a Tournament • Description: Sponsor a state tournament for the FLL season. • Skills required: Money, or the ability to find it. Amount varies depending on the size of the event. Contact us for details. • Time Commitment: Not much. • Time Frame: Let us know as soon as possible.
Sponsor a Team • Description: Fund a team for the FLL season. • Skills required: Money, or the ability to find it. Minimum would be registration fee, possibly also including material for practice course, t-shirts, travel expenses, etc. $600 sets up a team nicely. • Time Commitment: Not much • Time Frame: Let us know as soon as possible, no later than late September.
Judge • Description: Judge award categories at tournaments. Awards include technical awards (best programming, mechanical design, innovative design, best presentation of ) and non-technical (teamwork, against all odds, judges, team spirit). Interact with, and encourage, the kids during discussion of their robot and team. • Skills required: Relevant technical skills for the category you judge, desire to be a good and fair judge, desire to have fun! • Time Commitment: One 2 -3 hour training session, one all-day Saturday tournament • Time Frame: Training usually in October, tournament usually early November.
Referee • Description: Officiate at the actual performance competition of the robots. Make sure teams follow the rules, keep track of the scoring during the match, encourage the kids. • Skills required: Desire to be a good and fair referee, learn the rules very well, comfortable in a crowd, high tolerance for noise (bring your own earplugs!), desire to have fun! • Time Commitment: One 2 -3 hour training session, one all-day Saturday tournament • Time Frame: Training usually in October, tournament usually early November.
Technical Mentor • Description: Act as a counsel to coach and team members. Provide guidance for structuring technical approach, for specific technical problems, computer programming, setting up good experiments to evaluate designs, for problem solving and troubleshooting. You are not the coach (although you can volunteer to be a coach too!). • Skills required: Technical skills in programming or engineering (have you been, or are you now, a techie? ) • Time Commitment: Meet with assigned team as often as possible. Teams typically practice twice a week. • Time Frame: Involved with team from September to mid November Other Requirements: Mentors will need to complete a background check.
Coaching a Team • Description: Organize team and practices. Teach team building. Act as counsel to team members. Provide guidance for structuring research project and presentation. • Skills required: Work well with children ages 9 to 14 and be able to instill enthusiasm. Technical skills in programming or engineering would be helpful, however, they are not a requirement. A mentor may provide technical help. If you do not have access to a mentor, we will be happy to assist in trying to provide one for your team. • Time Commitment: At least 4 -8 hrs per week, more towards the end, and one all-day Saturday tournament mid November. Teams typically practice twice a week. • Time Frame: Involved with team from September to mid November. • Other Requirements: Coaches will need to complete a background check.
Help Setup or Volunteer for Event • Description: Varies. Help setup (and/or design) tables, software for scoring and running event, projection systems, lighting, networks, etc. . Work at an event helping with registration, crowd management, merchandise sales, etc. • Skills required: Technical skills in programming or engineering, if needed. In some cases, a strong back or just a willingness to help. • Time Commitment: Depends on job. Setup starts the day before or early in the morning. You may also help with design (for example designing scoring software, lighting or projection) which would start in October. For volunteering at the event, commitment from 4 hrs to all day. • Time Frame: Day of the tournament. • Volunteer Grid: Here is a grid of all volunteer positions.
COACHING • • • Q: How much time is involved in coaching a team? A: You will need to arrive at your own optimum time commitment, but historically teams range from three to six hours per week, with additional weekend hours if needed around tournament season. Q: Does the coach need to have a technical background? A: A technical background is helpful, but not necessary. Learning alongside the team is expected. Coaches must be willing to acquire some basic knowledge of the programming environment and LEGO robot building. As leader of a registered team, the coach will have access to software and building instructional manuals from FLL. For additional assistance we encourage the coach to enlist the support of a technology mentor or guest speaker(s). Q. Is one coach enough? A. If your team is the maximum number, 10 students, you will probably want some help, at least with administrative details and team meetings. Q. Are there any learning materials or training available? A. Yes, the FLL Coaches Handbook is a helpful resource for coaches. Also, the website includes Coach Tutorials and Coach Curriculum resources. In addition, FLL teams can participate in the FLL Forum , a message board where users can post new questions and read and reply to existing messages. Teams are encouraged to participate in discussions related to the Challenge, and the Project. Q. Can teams obtain assistance with Challenge related questions? A. Yes, for rapid response to Challenge questions, e-mail the FLL Engineer at flltech@usfirst. org.
Practice Venue • An adequate practice venue is contingent upon having access to the necessary computer hardware and the space to build and test the robot. Eventually, each team will want to set up a practice field to give your team a chance to test actual project performance. The practice field can be as simple as clearing an area on the floor and placing any challenge components within the space, or as elaborate as a full competition table. Some teams have found it advantageous to share access to a practice field with other teams in the area.
EQUIPMENT AND SPACE • • Q. What are the practice space requirements? A. Teams need enough space to build and test the robot on the FLL field mat (contained in the FLL Field Set Up Kit). The 4' x 8' field mat rolls out and the team places LEGO pieces and various elements to create the Challenge missions. Purchase additional materials (such as two-by-fours) separately to build a border around the field mat. Setup can be as simple as clearing an area on the floor, or your team may opt to build an official FLL table. Some teams have found it advantageous to share a field mat with other teams in their area. Q. What are the computer capabilities/requirements? A. Team must have access to either a Mac or a PC with an Internet connection. Internet access and a valid e-mail address are mandatory to maintain contact with FLL throughout the Challenge season. You will use the computer to develop programs for the team's robot. You can easily downloaded programs via an infrared transmitter to the RCX, the LEGO programmable brick. Q. If I build the optional table this year, will I be able to reuse it next year? A. Yes, you can use the table again, but the rollout mat changes with each annual Challenge.
SPONSORSHIP AND FUNDRAISING • • • Q. Does my team have to obtain a sponsor? A. It is not necessary to have a sponsor if your team has the necessary financial resources. Q. How do we solicit funds if we do want or need a sponsor? A. Seeking out financial assistance for your team can begin on many different levels. Try the following: • Look to local companies or solicit parents to see if any are owners or employees of a local business. Many businesses are excited to invest in FLL through sponsorship and/or mentors as part of their community relations. Consider having the team members prepare a presentation for an executive within the company to discuss their personal involvement in the FLL process. The team's input is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the team and strengthen their presentation skills. • If the team is part of a classroom environment, explore grant opportunities, programs for special education, gifted and talented-based programs, or minority-focused programs. • Contact your parent teacher organization to discuss collaborative efforts. • If the team is derived as part of a civic organization, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, or YMCA, research the available funds from the headquarters of the organization; the team might be eligible for funds allocated to special programs. • Distribute the cost of materials evenly between the number of participants and coaches, or send a note to the parents to collect money. This is also a good way to enlist parental support. Q. What benefit is it to fundraise or have a sponsor? A. Besides the obvious monetary benefit, team fundraising can build ownership in the team, create team unity, and develop the much-needed enthusiasm for success. Q. How do we recognize folks as sponsors? A. If your team obtains donations or a team sponsor, always remember to have the team write a letter of thanks to recognize the sponsor as part of the team and its accomplishments. This creates a feeling of connection to the community. Businesses can also sponsor a team in exchange for some form of recognition, such as the company name on a team t-shirt, or a special mention during public appearances. Back to Top • • •
• • TOURNAMENTS Q. What are the tournaments like? A. Tournaments are a true celebration of each team's accomplishments during the FLL season. They are exciting, colorful, and bursting with energy! There are opening and closing ceremonies, complete with really cool trophies and team T-shirts with personalized logos and team colors. They are well run with attending distinguished guests, parents, coaches, intense and playful students, judges, and even real referees in black and white striped shirts. All student participants go home with a great looking medallion that commemorates the team's involvement and enthusiasm in a technical journey. Q. Does our team registration include participation at an event? A. No, tournament application is a separate process. Event organizers determine the tournament fee, and the cost to attend is approximately $60. Q. Where can we find out about the tournaments? A. Please go to the Teams and Tournaments section on the FLL International site for event details. The methods for attendance vary and specifcs for each event are posted each September.
JUDGING AND AWARDS • Q. What types of awards can teams win? A. All student team members who participate in a state tournament go home with an FLL Medallion to commemorate their accomplishments. The FLL Awards are divided into four main categories, which encompass Technical, Team Performance, Special Recognition, and Judges' Awards. Judges use the criteria of Technical and Team Performance when determining the winner of the Director's Award, the most prestigious honor a team can win at an FLL Tournament. • Q. What are the criteria for award judging? A. When you register and receive your FLL Coaches Handbook, read the awards section. You will find judging criteria as well as suggestions for considerations in the awards process. • Q. How does a team win an award? A. Judges will be observing and interviewing teams throughout the day, both on the field and off. At the end of the day they will recognize the most remarkable tea ms with trophies in various categories. • Grant Resources: Helpful site links for grant writing information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS • What is FIRST LEGO League? A competitive program to inspire curiosity among 9 -14 year olds in science & technology. It was developed by FIRST through a partnership with the LEGO Company. What is FIRST? A national non-profit organization. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration In Science and Technology". Is this a competition? Yes. Teams can gather for local events and state tournaments where they are recognized for excellence in teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, design, strategy and leadership. FLL promotes numerous solutions in a competitive, yet friendly environment as kids discover the rewards of science and technology. Does LEGO support this program? Yes. • What are the age limits? The competition is for students ages 9 to 14. What is the team size? Typically 6 -10 team members with a minimum of 4. Who coaches a team? Coaches can be parents, teachers, volunteers, or anyone who wants to help.
• Does a team have to be affiliated with a school? No. Although almost all teams are associated with a school, teams can be put together informally or as part of an organization like scouts. What is the cost? The approximate cost for registration and materials is up to $600 for new teams and up to $250 for returning teams. See Getting Started for detailed information. I already own a MINDSTORMS kit. Can I participate with that? Yes, but you will need to purchase the extra pieces and the challenge kit. What is the time frame? Each fall, FLL announces its Challenge highlighting a current scientific or technological problem facing the world. During the Challenge process, teams have 8 weeks to build, program and test their own fully-autonomous robot capable of completing various "missions". The average team, consisting of 8 players, must take on specific roles and responsibilities in order to accomplish the Challenge. See Getting Started for more information on registration. • How old is the program? The program started nationally with pilot programs during the 1998/1999 school year. The first official Louisiana State tournament was held in November 2003 at the University of New Orleans. How big is the program? In 2003, more than 42, 000 children participated from 48 states and 14 countries. In Louisiana, 24 teams participated in the state's first tournament.
• Is there a national tournament? There is a national exhibition in April in conjunction with the FIRST high school robotics program In Atlanta. A World Cup is being planned for 2004. Does everyone participate in the state tournaments? To make the tournaments enjoyable and manageable, tournament size is limited to about 65 -70 teams. If more teams than that register, regional qualifying tournaments will be held. Regional qualifying tournaments have not been necessary in Louisiana in the past but may soon become necessary as the number of participating schools continue to grow. When is the state tournaments? The 2005 -2006 joint Louisiana/Mississippi state tournament will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2006. Is there curriculum available? Not yet although there are several universities working on it. Is training provided to coaches? Training is provided on the national FLL site. Check the Coaching page for information. • Is there financial assistance available? Yes, see tournament information. Who sponsors and runs FLL in Louisiana?
• • • FIRST in Louisiana is sponsored through a partnership of nonprofits, schools, businessmen, and organizations. B. LA. S. T. (Building Louisiana Science and Technology) is the nonprofit umbrella organization accepting contributions to fund the FLL challenge tournament. Representatives of the following sit on the steering committee: The Bruce J. Heim Foundation Rob Couhig The New Orleans Center for Science and Math Teachers from Pearl River High School Tulane University of New Orleans The American Society of Mechanical Engineers What kit do I need to participate in the FLL program? To participate in FLL, new teams must purchase the FLL Rookie kit. This kit can only be bought through the FLL program. It includes LEGO MINDSTORMS building materials, the FLL Team Manual, both the Robo. Lab and the LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX Code software, the special FLL Challenge set with extra pieces related to the FLL 2000 Challenge and a Beta version of the LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX Code 2. 0 software. When you register a team, you will receive information on how to obtain a kit. Can new teams who own a LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotic Invention System, purchase the veteran set? Yes. See Forming a Team
• What is the difference between the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System (RIS) and Robo. Lab from LEGO Dacta? The difference between both systems is the context in which they are used. The LEGO MINDSTORMS RIS was designed to be used at home and Robo. Lab for the school environment. Their similarities are the building materials as well as the RCX. The major differences relate to the programming software and instruction materials. The LEGO MINDSTORMS RIS software (RCX Code) was made to be very open minded, colorful and creative to encourage children to experiment and use the product. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Constructopedia helps children design and build robotic inventions. Robo. Lab is an icon driven programming language based on National Instrument's Lab. VIEW. (Lab. VIEW is an industry standard used by thousands of companies including NASA. ) Designed specifically for education, students work through incremental levels in the software which allows them to have success as they learn how to program. The upper levels of the language (Inventor) give students the opportunity to work with such full programming features as loops, while loops, conditionals, if statements, variables, music, and much more. Installation guides accompany both the LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX Code and the Robo. Lab software. • • Should teachers who participate in FLL use the Robo. Lab software? The FLL program is designed to work with both Robo. Lab and RCX Code. The teacher should use whichever software they feel most comfortable with.
FLL Team Activities • Journal
Getting the Team Registered • Every team must be registered nationally to obtain a LEGO Mindstorms kit. • Every team must be registered both nationally and with LA FLL to compete in the Louisiana FIRST LEGO League Tournament. – The deadline is October 1, 2006. – All teams registered will automatically be registered nationally. • Fees: National Registration $150. 00 – State Registration $25. 00
• Financial Assistance • If you anticipate a need for financial assistance either in the form of funds or supplies, email Barbara Pailet at BHPFED@aol. com by the end of September. • • Obtaining a LEGO Mindstorms Challenge kit. • If you have a Mindstorms kit already, you don't need to buy another. However, you may want to purchase the additional parts allowed, as described in Frequently Asked Questions. • • Obtaining a Field Set Up kit. • The field set up kit changes from year to year. Your team will need to purchase this kit to build the mission models needed for programming and practice.
Computer Requirements • Each team will need a meeting area that has access to a personal computer. • The computer is used to develop the computer program, which is then downloaded onto the Mindstorms programmable brick. • Additionally, your team will need an on-site computer on the day of the competition. Code is often modified on-the-fly to accommodate the specific conditions of the tournament and to improve robot performance.
Elements of the FLL Competition • • Technical Judging Teamwork Competition Table Research Project
FLL is Applied Education Where theory meets the road • Group Activity – Socialization, Teamwork • Research Topic – Technical Writing – Research Paper • Sentences, Paragraphs, • Presentation – Performing Arts • Engineering Principles – Design/Redesign • Mechanical, Electrical, Physics – Innovation – Computer Programming
Underneath the FLL Experience Underlying Engineering Principles • Gears and gear ratios
What FLL Teams Do
What FLL Coaches Learn
Why Do I Want Blue Tooth?