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Rookie Year FIRST LEGO League


'You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.' -- Polish Proverb ... Thursday Software design and testing. Friday Team integration and status ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Rookie Year FIRST LEGO League

Rookie YearFIRST LEGO League
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
  • September 15, 2009

  • Introductions
  • Introduction to FIRST, FLL Video
  • Resources top 10 questions
  • Judging Process Awards
  • Questions Discussion

Organization Programs
FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST Programs
FIRST Tech Challenge
K 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12
Grade Level
Introduction to FLL
  • FLL was created as the Little League to FIRST
  • Reaches more than 100,000 children
  • 45 Countries involved around the globe

A quote from a student, who attended an FLL
tournament, to his father following the
tournament, Dad, this was the best day of my
"You have a lifetime to work, but children are
only young once." -- Polish Proverb
Organization Programs
FIRST LEGO League How It Works
  • Problem Solving and Creativity
  • Present kids with a real-world problem
  • Unleash thinking, energy, and fun
  • 2009 Challenge Smart Move
  • Teams of Kids and Mentors
  • Work as a team
  • Learn with adults and mentors
  • Do It All In 8 Weeks
  • A timeline to learn efficiency and effectiveness
  • Compete with peers in tournament

Introduction to FLL
  • Program promoting science and technology for kids
    ages 9 to 14
  • Season includes
  • Researching and solving a real-world problem with
    a team based on the Challenge theme
  • Presenting the research and solutions
  • Building an autonomous robot using engineering
  • The robot, project, and demonstration of teamwork
    are displayed at a qualifying event and teams
    have the opportunity to attend a championship
    competition and possibly the World Festival or
    Open Tournament
  • Lifelong skills gained from the program include
  • Technical building skills.
  • Computer programming.
  • Design skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Research and presentation skills.
  • Persistence.
  • Planning skills.
  • Engineering skills.
  • Experimentation techniques.
  • Value of risk taking.
  • Decision making models.
  • Respect for and trust in others.

The Challenge
  • The Challenge is the annual game revealed to FLL
    teams each September during the on line kick off.
    Teams must determine a strategy to accomplish
    various Challenge missions and accumulate points.
    In addition, the Challenge theme and related
    Research Project requires teams to investigate
    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.

The Challenge
The Project
The Project
  • The challenge
  • Look at your community and discover how people,
    animals, information, and things travel.
  • Pick one main mode of transportation and do some
  • Identify a Problem
  • Begin your project by describing your community.
    This season, it is up to your team to define your
    community. Is it your school? your neighborhood?
    your city, village, or town? your country? the
    world? Be prepared to share how you defined your
  • Pick one way that people and things move in your
    community and learn more about it!
  • What makes your mode of transportation dangerous?
    What prevents people, information, animals, and
    things from getting where they need to go? Search
    out the problems. Look at reports. Read books.
    Browse websites. Conduct a survey. Check with
    experts who work in and around your community.
    Use any research tools you have available.
  • Create an Innovative Solution
  • Choose one of the problems and suggest a
    solution. What can be done to fix the problem?
    What will it take to make your teams solution
    happen? How will your solution help your
  • Share with your Community
  • Now, tell your community about the problem you
    researched, and how your solution can help. You
    choose how to share what youve learned. Give a
    talk for parents. Create a website. Perform a
    skit. Make a comic book. Create a poster.
  • Your presentation to the judges can be simple or
    elaborate, serious or designed to make people
    laugh while they learnbut to be eligible for
    project awards at tournaments, it must
  • Describe your community, the problem, and your
    teams solution
  • Show that your team did the research and tell
    about your information sources
  • Be shared with someone outside of your team

Season Time Line
  • Sept Registration closes when all slots are
  • Sept 3 Challenge announced
  • Sept 19 Rookie coach training session
  • Dallas Museum of Nature and Science
  • January 23 -- Championship Tournament at
  • The Hockaday School
  • 11600 Welch Road
  • Dallas, Texas 75229
  • (Google says 33 mins.)

A general plan from now to January 23
  • Week One (9/29)
  • Introductions.
  • Team building exercises.
  • Introduce challenge.
  • Set short and long-term goals.
  • Explore materials and build the course
  • Provide how-to-build instructions and
  • Week Two (10/5)
  • Get to know the members of your team.
  • Understand the challenge and the rules.
  • Utilize available building and engineering
  • Discuss a research plan for the presentation.
  • Introduce the programming language your team
    will use.
  • Brainstorm a possible strategy for the missions.
    Build as many robots as you can with your
    available parts.
  • Week Three (10/12)
  • Try to get a working robot.
  • Connect robots to programs.
  • Begin research for the presentation.
  • Experiment with many ideas.
  • Week Four (10/19)
  • Revisit mission goals and priorities.
  • Modify robot design.
  • Outline research project.
  • Week Five (10/26)
  • Try to get one simple successful program.
  • Develop presentation.
  • Week Six (11/2)
  • Final robot design.
  • Use small groups to get work done, perhaps
    outside of regular practice times
  • Share presentation with team.
  • Week Seven (11/9)
  • Panic! Have faith your team will amaze you.
  • Perform timed practice missions.
  • Modify robot and mission sequence.
  • Start to talk about tournament.
  • Week Eight (11/16)
  • Practice for the tournament. Learn to solve
    problems and deal with mistakes.
  • Use a stopwatch, this is dress rehearsal.
    Practice, practice, practice.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule
is already full. Henry Kissenger
Recruiting a Team
  • Team size 3-10 kids
  • School team
  • Typically an extra curricular team that meets
    after school
  • Possibly part of an enrichment program part of a
    classroom curriculum
  • Club team
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Girls Inc.
  • Neighborhood team
  • Group of friends
  • Homeschooled team

Cost Estimates Resources
  • FLL costs Approximately 1000 Rookie Teams,
    600 Veteran Teams
  • 200 registration
  • 395 kit costs
  • 65 challenge kit
  • 50 qualifying tournament registration
  • 75 table parts construction
  • 75 team T-shirts
  • 150 miscellaneous other costs including extra
    parts, research presentation supplies, batteries,
    event give-aways
  • Required resources
  • Laptop w/internet access
  • Meeting location
  • Table or surface to practice on
  • Coaches/Mentors
  • Head coach
  • Mentors
  • FRC mentors (many former FLL participants)

Meeting Schedule
  • Team meetings (after school)
  • Current plan is to use the following schedule
    with the requirement that team members attend at
    least two (2) meetings per week
  • Monday Mission Planning
  • Tuesday Hardware design and assembly
  • Wednesday off
  • Thursday Software design and testing
  • Friday Team integration and status
  • Each team member reports out on accomplishments
    of the week
  • Each team member updates the schedule and plans
    out activities for the upcoming week.

Organizational Strategy
Coach/Parent/Mentor Commitment
  • Coaches, Mentors, Parents
  • To decrease the effort for one coach, additional
    mentors and parents need to be recruited to
    divide the responsibilities
  • Responsibilities can be technical
  • Programming expertise
  • Science/engineering professional
  • An expert in this years Challenge theme,
    presents real examples of science in practice,
    advises the team on the project research and
    potential solutions, recommends new sources of
    information for the team.
  • Graphic artist Provides advice on the team logo
    and T-shirts
  • or non-technical
  • help coordinate T-Shirt design and ordering
  • team spirit activities
  • coordinate the teams travel arrangements
  • Coordinate the materials and resources the team
    needs throughout the season by finding how-to
    guides and expert resources on the FLL Challenge
  • leading brainstorming practice and teambuilding
  • Photo and scrapbooking activities
  • Video history of team (use for next years

A mentor can teach life lessons
  • Such as
  • Communication
  • Compromise
  • Team work
  • Project management
  • and the difference between a CAM and
    a rotor

What roles will kids fill on the team?
  • Research -- Gather information about the
    Challenge theme, related real world problems and
    existing solutions. Invite professionals to share
    their knowledge with the team.
  • Community Sharing Consider who in the community
    might be impacted by or interested in your teams
    problem and arrange to share your findings
  • with them.
  • Presenting Prepare the Project presentation.
    Design a creative way to show the judges your
    teams work on the Project.
  • Building Make decisions about building and work
    to form consensus on the mechanical design among
    team members.
  • Programming Make decisions about programming
    and form consensus on programming.
  • Strategy Analysis Analyze the robot playing
    field and formulate various methods for
    accomplishing the missions. Lead the effort to
    establish a consensus on the final strategic plan
    and think about risks and rewards of different
  • Robot Operators (2) Operate the robot at a
    tournament. Two robot operators are permitted at
    the playing field at any given time (see
    Tournament section for details). (Good hand/eye
    coordination required.)
  • Project Management Get everyone focused, get
    everyones ideas heard, find compromises, and
    keep everyone on schedule with a project

What roles will kids fill on the team?
  • Quality Control Conduct independent tests of
    the robots performance to identify potential
    opportunities for improvement. Test for functions
    that do not work reliably and make
    recommendations for improvements.
  • Marketing Design and create the team logo.
    Write a press release and contact the local
    media, surrounding schools, or civic
    organizations to increase public awareness of the
    team and how the team benefits from the FLL
    experience. Communicate a weekly update on the
    teams progress to parents, sponsors, and
  • Documentation Record and document the entire
    teams thoughts, actions, failures, and successes
    throughout the FLL season in a journal,
    storyboard, video, or other form you can display
    at events. During the season, these efforts help
    the team organize information for decision
    making. At events and tournaments, these are an
    excellent way to showcase the teams activities,
    teamwork, and spirit for judges and event
  • Fundraising (Not needed this year) Think of
    ways to raise money for the team. Recruit parents
    and other children in the thinking, planning, and
    doing processes.
  • Team Spirit Think of ways your team, families,
    and friends can show their spirit at the
    tournament. As part of your teams identity,
    consider designing T-shirts, making pins, writing
    a cheer, and inventing ways to showcase your

What to Expect at a Tournament
  • An all day event with lots of noise and
  • The purpose of the event is to bring together
    teams from across the region to display their
    robot, research, and teamwork abilities, which
    they have been working during the FLL season
  • Team displays 4 components throughout the day in
    front of referees or judges
  • Robot competition
  • Teamwork
  • Robot design programming
  • Research project
  • Event areas
  • Pit area - home base throughout the day
  • Judging rooms team presents to 3 judge panels
    during the day
  • Competition area team competes on the
    competition table in 3x 2 ½ minute rounds in
    front of an audience
  • Event starts with an opening ceremony and
    concludes with an awards ceremony

FLL Core Values
  • The Core Values are the cornerstones of the FLL
    programs. They are among the fundamental
    elements that distinguish the programs from
    others of their kind. By embracing the Core
    Values, participants learn that friendly
    competition and mutual gain are not separate
    goals, and that helping one another is the
    foundation of teamwork. Members of the FLL
    community are expected to display the Core Values
    through hard work, dedication, and respect for
    others in all they do.

FLL Core Values We are a team. We do the work to
find 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
everything we do. We have fun.
Video Presentation
Where to get Information Top 10 Questions
Official Sources
  • Coaches Handbook
  • FIRST (can be down loaded from FLL website)
  • http//
  • Chapter 1 Building an FLL Foundation Chapter
    2 Building a Team Chapter 3 Building a Season
    Rubrics for 2009 Season
  • Lots of info on what FLL is all about.
  • Instruction CD
  • Building instructions for mission models
  • These are not suggestions!

Official Sources
  • FLL Website (http//
  • Rules
  • Mission descriptions
  • Field Setup
  • QA (check weekly)
  • Research instructions and links
  • Forum (great source of information)

Non Official Sources
  • FLL-Freak website (
  • Coaches Primer (forerunner of the Coaches
  • UFAQ (A must read)
  • NXT Video tutorials
  • Links

Non Official Sources
  • High Tech Kids (
  • Training materials
  • From main page select INFORMATIONPROGRAMS FLL
  • Towards bottom is a link to their library.
  • RoboLab and RIS labs
  • Building LEGO Robots for FLL v1.2
  • Misc.

Non Official Sources
  • Oregon FLL (
  • Training materials
  • NXT video tutorials.

Top 10
  • Definitions
  • Match Two teams competing head to head
  • Round All teams competing in one match
  • Mission A task you perform for points
  • Outing A period of time your robot leaves the

Top 10
  • How does a match work?
  • Two tables side by side.
  • One shared mission (Arrow Agreement)
  • 21/2 minutes to solve as much as you can
  • No timeouts

Top 10
  • Can we touch the robot?
  • When in base you can touch the robot as much as
    you want.
  • If the robot leaves the base, you may return the
    robot to base but for a penalty.

Top 10
  • What parts are we allowed to use?
  • Non electric
  • Everything you compete with must be made of LEGO
    elements in original factory condition, except
    LEGO string and tubing, which you may cut to
  • Exception You can reference a paper list to keep
    track of programs.
  • There are no restrictions on the quantities or
    sources of non-electric LEGO elements, except
    that factory-made wind-up/pull-back motors are
    not allowed. Pneumatics are allowed.
  • The electric elements used must be the LEGO
    MINDSTORMS type, and the total number of electric
    elements you may use in one match is limited as
  • Electric
  • NXT controller (1)
  • motors (3)
  • touch sensors (2)
  • light sensors (2)
  • lamp (1)      
  • rotation sensors (3 minus the number of NXT
    motors present)
  • ultrasonic sensor (1)

Top 10
  • Can you get an NXT robot to drive straighter?
  • Sample robot drives fairly straight.
  • Other robots may not as feedback code is not
    optimized for them.
  • Watch Drive Straight? Tutorial at

Top 10
  • Should I use the rechargeable or AAs on an NXT?
  • By all means use the battery pack if you have
  • Weve got two battery packs for each team.
  • You can keep it charged up and have a more even
    voltage at less cost.

Top 10
  • How can you improve accuracy?
  • Stay away from time delays.
  • Minimize the change in voltage.
  • Use odometry (the rotation sensor)
  • Use landmark navigation.

Top 10
  • Think outside the box.
  • The obvious solution is often not the best.
  • Do not impose rules on yourself.

Judging Process and Awards
FLL Judging
  • Teams are judged by several panels of judges at
    the tournaments they attend
  • Judging sessions make up a major portion of the
    tournament experience
  • Allows teams to be assessed fairly
  • Gives FLL participants the opportunity to present
    in front of adults
  • Allows FLL participants to meet people
    experienced in the challenge field as well as
    engineers and teachers
  • Judges follow a consistent set of rubrics to
    evaluate teams
  • Rubrics are supplied to the teams in the coaches

FLL Judging
  • The judges are volunteers from industry, local
    schools, or individuals who have been an active
    volunteer in the FIRST organization
  • The judges go through extensive training to
    ensure consistency in the judging process
  • The judges are trained to encourage all the
    students to answer questions
  • The judges are aware that this may be a students
    first time participating at a FLL tournament and
    may be nervous

FLL Judging
  • The FLL tournament is four part
  • Competition Rounds (points) 25
  • Robot Design (Technical) Judging 25
  • Teamwork Judging 25
  • Project Judging 25
  • The team will have 5 minutes for setup and take
    down, 5 minutes to present their work to the
    judging panels, and 5 minutes for QA with the
  • Judging will occur in separate rooms or areas
    depending on the local tournament your team

FLL Judging
  • Judges will speak to the level of the students.
    Everyone is here to see the students succeed. No
    one is here to make anyone feel bad about
    themselves or their achievements.
  • The judges will encourage all students to
    participate. This will confirm that the entire
    team did the work (or was involved in some way
    with the work). This will also help to confirm
    that the adults didnt do the work.
  • Adults Intervention is a NO! This is the time
    when it is all about the kids. If the judges see
    adult intervention it will penalize the team and
    may result in the team not being eligible for any
    of the awards. To avoid this at all cost, stand
    aside and encourage the team by being a presence.
    It is their time to shine.

FLL Judging
  • Robot Design Award
  • Robot Design Award will be judged on how well a
    team can creatively design a robot to solve the
    challenge mechanically and most programmatically.

FLL Judging
  • Type of Questions the Judge will be asking
  • Was the design simple and structurally robust?
  • Was the programming language easy to follow? Did
    the team go from point A to B to solve a problem
    or did they get lost in between?
  • What design principles did the team use to solve
    the problems.
  • Did they go about finding the solution to the
    challenge in a unique way.
  • Did they go above and beyond when solving a
  • Did they solve multiple challenges in one
    programming series
  • Did they use higher level programming knowledge
  • How many sensors did they use?
  • Was the design/program efficient
  • Were the attachments structurally stable
  • How many attachments were there, does one
    attachment have multiple purposes?
  • How well does the team know the program? How well
    does the team know the robots design
  • Was the design a team effort?

FLL Judging
  • Typical questions a judge may ask
  • What is your favorite attachment and what part of
    the challenge does it solve?
  • Will some one show me the program you used to
    solve that challenge and walk me through its
  • What were the steps you took to find the solution
    to that problem? Was there a big brainstorming
  • Why did you choose to use a light sensor to solve
    that mission?
  • I see that you made the choice to solve the
    mission (this way), how did you come up with that

FLL Judging
  • Project Award
  • The project award is judged based on how well a
    team researched and reports an innovative
    solution. Additionally, how the team creatively
    presents their results and demonstrates that they
    had an in-depth understanding of the various
    scientific disciplines and issues involved with
    the challenges project.

FLL Judging
  • Type of Questions the Judge will be asking
  • Did the team have a clear solution to the
  • Was the team organized?
  • Was the team persuasive?
  • Did the presentation flow?
  • Did the entire team participate?
  • Did they have more than one research source?
  • Is the artwork, customs, etc. that of the
  • Are there any visual aids? Are the visual aids
    consistent with that being presented?
  • Does the project have a purpose, data to support
    the solution, and a conclusion of the results?
  • Did the team seem well rehearsed?
  • Did the team work together? Did the team support
    each other? Did the team see the big picture of
    their research?

FLL Judging
  • Typical questions a judge may ask
  • What resources did you use to research your
    problem and why did you choose these?
  • Did you use any unusual methods to research your
    topic? If so what and why?
  • What makes your solution different from what is
    being used to solve this problem now, and why do
    you think it is better?
  • How did you arrive at your solution and why?
  • After working on this project, what is the most
    important thing that your team learned?
  • How did you decide on this presentation style
    that you used?
  • What do you think was the most creative aspect of
    your presentation of project and why?

FLL Judging
  • Teamwork Award
  • The teamwork will go to a team that best
    demonstrates the following
  • Confidence, energy, and enthusiasm
  • Group problem solving skills
  • Respect
  • Positive Attitudes
  • Demonstrates an interest for Science and
  • Act like a team!

FLL Judging
  • Typical questions a judge may ask
  • Tell me about the roles each of you had on the
    team and how this worked? 
  • What does Gracious Professionalism mean to you? 
  • Tell us what you have learned about FLL and how
    you think it will help you in the future?

FLL Judging
  • How the Judges Evaluate the Teams
  • Using a the FIRST Judging Rubrics, the judges
    evaluate the students as Excellent, Great, Fair,
    or Needs Improvement.
  • Rubrics provide by FIRST are used for this
    process to ensure consistency among judging
  • Rubrics are found in your FLL Team Handbook.
  • After the judges see all the teams they meet with
    their judge peers to discuss their results.
  • The judges will use the notes, rubrics, and
    comments they made during each teams interview
    and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Finally, award winners are selected for each

  • Robot Design Award (1st, 2nd, 3rd)?
  • Robot Design Award will be judged on how well a
    team can creatively design a robot to solve the
    challenge mechanically and most programmatically.
  • Project Award (1st, 2nd, 3rd)?
  • The Project Award is judged based on how well a
    team researched, came up with an innovative
    solution, and creatively presented their results
    and demonstrated that they had an in-depth
    understanding of the various scientific
    discipline and issues involved with the
    Challenges project.
  • There will be only one Robot Design Award and one
    Project Award.
  • Performance Award (1st, 2nd,3rd,4th)?
  • Point based award. Determined by how well the
    team performs on the competition field.
  • Teamwork Award (1st, 2nd, 3rd)?
  • The teamwork will go to a team that best
    demonstrates the following Confidence, energy,
    and enthusiasum Group problem solving skills
    Respect Positive Attitudes Demonstrates an
    interest for Science and Technology Act like a
  • Champions Award (1st)
  • Goes to the team that demonstrates the highest
    level of performance across all four categories.

  • Awards
  • Robot Design
  • Robot Performance
  • Project
  • Team Work
  • Champions
  • Student Participation Pins are given out to all
    students at the Qualifying Events.
  • Optional Awards
  • Judges Award
  • Special Recognition Awards
  • Team Spirit Award
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