We know that the prospect of starting a FLL team can be daunting. Our goal is to make it less so. Here you can find some quick, basic insight to help get you off the ground and support opportunities to help you soar.
is released in late August and Qualifying Tournaments are held during the weekends of November. Teams can advance from the qualifying tournaments on to regional competitions during early December (our local one is at Legoland!), and from there they move onto World’s in Saint Louis in April. The Challenge has three main parts: the Robot Game, the Project and Core Values. While the Robot Game and Project change every year, revolving around the common theme of the Challenge, Core Values are always the same.
students are given a set of tasks in the form of Mission Models for their robots to complete. The robot is built with Lego Mindstorm pieces, Lego sensors and programed with visual programing- all included in the Mindstorm kit. No experience is needed- it is very user friendly- and meant to teach basic robotics and programming skills. All design, programing and building is done by the students of the team.
students explore the theme of that year’s game. They research the theme, identify a problem, come up with a creative solution and share it with the community.
are mottos for life, designed to guide the team through tackling the Challenge and to help develop good habits that are then carried over into daily life. They are as follows-
can be public or private. Often they are based at a school but teams can also be home based or even through the community. Teams consist of three main branches- students, coaches and high school mentors. Each team has 4-10 students, 1 head coach, 1-2 more supporting coaches, and a varying number of mentors. Each serves an essential role in the success of the team.
do all the work. An essential part of FLL is that the students are the ones coming up with the creative solutions to the challenge and executing them.
are there to guide the team, keeping them focused and on track. This includes prompting creative thought, setting meeting times and keeping them to deadlines. This does NOT include creating a website for them, scripting speeches, or pushing the robot design into a more productive model. FLL’s purpose is to teach students how to problem solve, let them try out their ideas and learn from it.
are for the support of students and coaches. Mentors are there to bring in experience and help move the team in the right direction- from how to start tackling the project to specific help with glitching code. This is a great resource for first year teams and, while the amount of mentoring needed is less for veteran teams, it is still helpful. Mentoring should always be used in addition to meeting separately as a team. Mentors come from high school FRC teams and although some may be just as new to this as you, they are volunteering their time because they want to help your team succeed.
The average FLL season runs around $1000 dollars. The cost breakdown is as follows:
$250- Registration to be an official FLL team
$80- Robot Game Kit (including mat and Lego mission models)
$600- Lego Mindstorms Kit (robot building kit)
$65- Qualifying Tournament entrance fee
$50- Table construction cost
The registration, qualifying fee and purchase of the Robot Game Kit have to be paid yearly. The Lego Mindstorms Kit can be used for multiple years, however after going through your first year, you may decide that you want a second robot to work with. Many teams also purchase or make T- shirts and other spirit related objects.