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The Perot Museum is proud to serve as the North Texas affiliate for FIRST LEGO® League — a regional engineering competition that challenges students to use their creativity and technical knowledge to create robots designed to solve real-life problems.


It's an exciting program that actively engages students in math and science! Last season the North Texas region had 350 teams, and we look forward to serving even more kids in this year's Animal Allies Challenge!

Registration for qualifier locations is now open!

Please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Qualifier registration for the 2016 season is now open online!

Please see our FLL Events page at right.

Register Your Team Here

Teams must be registered with FIRST Lego League for the season to be able to register for Qualifiers.

PRESENTED BY LOCKHEED MARTIN
SUPPORTED BY ROCKWELL COLLINS AND EXXONMOBIL

The announcement of the Annual Challenge marks the beginning of several fast and furious weeks of robot design, programming, and solution building.  At the same time, teams also engage in a research project related to the core mission of the Challenge. When the teams compete, judging is not based on robot performance alone—the quality of design, outcome of their research project and level of teamwork are all major factors in a winning equation. This year's Challenge is Animal Allies, and details will be released when the season officially begins on August 30 at 11:00 CST.

About FIRST LEGO® League

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to foster interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST inspires young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting, mentor-based programs that build math, science, and technology skills—abilities that, in turn, lead to a more well-rounded life through greater self-confidence, communication, and leadership. This invaluable mission is shared by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. As a research and informal science education institution, we believe that children learn best when they overcome challenges through hands-on learning, project design, and experimentation. It’s an experience that gives them the opportunity to view science as a process, rather than merely an end result. This is why we are proud to support the North Texas Regional Tournament.

FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) is one of four competitive levels designed by FIRST, using LEGO® Mindstorms NXT robotics kids as its platform. Aimed at an international audience of students ages 9 through 14, this competition teaches real-world problem solving through engineering design and teamwork. Beyond the events, FLL also works closely with schools and other youth-based organizations to transform the perception of science and technology—inspiring kids who might not otherwise have found a love for these fields to pursue further studies and career paths in science and technology.

In 2008, the Museum became the Affiliate and Operational Partner for the North Texas Region. The Museum coordinates and oversees all FLL events for the North Texas area. The largest of these events is the Regional Championship Tournament, typically held in January or February of each year.


For answers to FIRST LEGO® League questions and details about the North Texas region, please contact FLL@perotmuseum.org.

Contacts

For answers to FIRST LEGO® League questions and details about the North Texas region, please contact FLL@perotmuseum.org.

Presenting Sponsor:

Lockheed Martin
Supporting Sponsors:
 

Exxon Mobile

Rockwell Collins

Creating a Team

If you’re interested in forming a FLL team, here’s how it works:

FLL teams consist of anywhere from 2 to 10 members, ages 9-14. While most teams are founded by schools, many are also independently run through Boy and Girl Scout troops, science and technology clubs, other outreach organizations or just groups of friends!

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is the Operational Partner for FLL in North Texas. We oversee official FLL events in the region and work to spread the word of FLL. We cannot, however, assist with team creation or management. We recommend the following course of action for anyone interested in getting involved with an FLL team:

  1. Contact the child’s school and see if they already have an FLL team that has an available spot.
     
  2. If the child’s school does not have a team, encourage them to start one.
     
  3. Offer to become a team coach.  There are great resources for coaches here.
     
  4. Need help locating an FLL team in your area? Try FIRST's team-matching system, TeamUp.

Once you have a group of students and a coach, you’re ready to begin the season – all you need to do is register!

To register to compete in official FLL Tournaments, you must first register with FIRST by visiting the FIRST LEGO® League website. Registration takes place each year between May and September. 

  1. Visit the site to start a team.
     
  2. Read all of the instructions carefully and click on "registration open" in the gray box.
     
  3. Follow the instructions to create an account and begin the registration process. Please note, as of this year, all teams will need to list two coaches/mentors/adult contacts who must pass a background check before registration can be confirmed.
     
  4. Once both adults have passed the background check, FIRST will send you instructions for how to order your field set and Mindstorm NXT or EV3 (if you need one—you don't need a new model each year!). 

Costs or required items: 

  • $225 per team: fee to register through FIRST. Registration through FIRST is required to participate in any official local, national, or international events, which may have additional costs.
     
  • $75 + shipping: cost of Field Set-up Kits. These consist of the Lego pieces and field mat that the robots will use in the Robot Game and Robot Design judged session.
     
  • $~250-$1000+: cost of NXT or EV3 robots, depending on source and "bells and whistles." Either robot can be used for competitions.

For answers to FIRST LEGO® League questions and details about the North Texas region, please contact FLL@perotmuseum.org.

FLL Events 2016-2017

Registration for qualifier locations is now open!

Please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Dates are kept current but are subject to change. Information is added as it becomes available.

Challenge Details

  • Find all the information about this year's challenge, Animal Allies, here!

Clinics

Introduction to FLL, LEGO Mindstorms, and Robot Construction - This session will provide an overview of the 2016 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition and hands-on training in building a robot using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 construction set. We will introduce common LEGO EV3 elements, illustrate basic robot design and building principles, and culminate with assembling and testing a prototype competition robot. For coaches and mentors only.

Beginning FLL ProgrammingThis session will introduce the Mindstorms EV3 software used to program robots for FLL competitions. The group will begin with an overview of the EV3 programming environment, then work on the basics of getting robots to navigate on a competition field. Common sensors for detecting lines, borders, and colors will be introduced. Finally, the use of “My Blocks” to build custom routines will be covered. For coaches and mentors only.

Kick Off/Team Dynamics - Presented by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, this clinic provides an introduction for coaches to the season followed by an informative clinic and discussion on team dynamics and what to expect as a coach or mentor. For coaches and mentors only.

Chassis and Attachments; Intermediate FLL Programming 1 - This session will review the 2016 FLL game challenge (“Animal Allies”), revisit basic robot building principles, and introduce techniques for creating more competitive robots. Participants will gain hands-on experience creating attachments and other chassis improvements to solve common FLL game challenges. The workshop will then focus on intermediate programming topics, including My Blocks, loop and sensor blocks, and navigation using the gyro and color sensors. For coaches and mentors only.

Intermediate FLL Programming 2; Season and Tournament PreparationThis session will continue with intermediate programming tasks using sensors and navigation, followed by a review of tournament activities and tips for improving team success in the Robot Design, Project, and Core Values aspects of the competition. For coaches and mentors only.

Kick Off/Team Dynamics - Presented by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, this clinic provides an introduction for coaches to the season followed by an informative clinic and discussion on team dynamics and what to expect as a coach or mentor.

Chassis Building and Attachments- This clinic will start with an overview of the LEGO building pieces most commonly used for building FLL robots, and then present the design principles important to developing a good chassis and efficient Robot Game execution. The clinic will then demonstrate a wide variety of attachments types and mounting options. For coaches, mentors and up to two team members.

Building with LEGO® Mindstorms® 101 - Coaches/Mentors and up to two team members are invited to this clinic that takes a detailed look at the nomenclature (what it is called) and geometry (how they work together) for the LEGO® Mindstorms® EV-3 kit. Includes hand-on exercises demonstrating how to build structurally strong with LEGO®.

Topic TBA - For coaches, mentors and up to two team members.

Programming - UTD will provide opportunities for attendees to try some (not all) exercises using their own robots and laptops.  We won’t be providing any robots or laptops at the clinics, so you need to bring your own if you want to do that.  Be sure your laptops and robots are fully charged, as there may not be power outlets available.  Also make sure your laptop has the EV3 Mindstorms software already installed on it, and that you’ve been able to get it to communicate with your robot (e.g., with a USB cable).  Even if you’re using an NXT robot, we recommend using the EV3 software to program it. This clinic will offer three sessions: Beginner, Intermediate, and Master Sequencer Programming.

Chassis and Attachments 101 - Coaches/Mentors and up to two team members are invited to this clinic that looks at chassis and attachment types and options for FLL®.

FLL® Programming- Coaches/Mentors and a student programmer are invited to this clinic on FLL® programming with the Mindstorms® LabView® software. This is a full day clinic presented in two parts, a beginning and an advance session. Bringing your laptop with the EV3 software installed is recommended.

FLL® Tournament Overview - An overview for coaches and mentors of what to expect at and how to prepare for an FLL® tournament.

FLL® Regional Qualifier Judge and Referee Training - Referee and Judge training for FLL® Regional Qualifiers.

  • November 19, 2016
    9am–11:30am
    UME Preparatory Academy 

Scrimmages

  • November 5, 2016
    Fellowship Christian Academy
    12pm-5pm
    DETAILS HERE 
  • November 12, 2016
    8am-12pm
    Cross Timbers Middle School 
    DETAILS HERE
  • November 19, 2016
    Grand Saline Middle School
    9:30am-3pm
    DETAILS HERE 
  • November 27, 2016
    Front Line Youth in Science, Engineering, and Technology
    REGISTER HERE (Opens October 29, 2016 and closes when full.) 

First Round Qualifiers

Location Map

Registration

Second Round Qualifiers

Additional locations coming soon.

  • January 14, 2017
    Grand Saline High School
  • January 21, 2017
    Wedgwood Middle School (t) 

North Texas Regional Championship

  • February 4, 2017
    Parish Episcopal School

Qualifiers Explained

In order to participate in official competitions, you must register your team with FIRST at the beginning of the season.

There are 12 First Round Qualifiers held in December. Each team can only participate in 1 First Round Qualifier. Teams who score highly in the Robot Game matches AND rank highly in ALL judged categories will be eligible to advance to second-round qualifiers and/or directly to the Regional Championship. All competitions are held at various schools around North Texas.

2016-2017 Tentative Schedule

Challenge Details Released August 30, 2016 at 11am CST.

First Round Qualifiers

  • December 3, 2016
  • December 10, 2016
  • December 17, 2016

Second Round Qualifiers

  • January 14, 2017
  • January 21, 2017

North Texas Regional Championship

  • February 4, 2017

Qualifiers are held at area schools and locations with further details will be announced soon.

Qualifier Registration

  • Qualifier locations are first come, first served. Once a location is filled it will be removed as an option. Teams CANNOT change their qualifying site after registration.
  • Registration is not complete until payment is received. Payments can be made by credit card, check, or purchase order.
  • If paying by credit card, teams may register online. Payment by credit card is strongly recommended and the best way to ensure your spot is held.
  • If paying by check or purchase order, teams must call the Reservation line to register with payment ready to be made. After giving details to Reservations, you must mail in your check or purchase order within 7 days. You may mail your check in early but this does not reserve your spot; you must all Reservations to complete your registration.
  • Include your team's name and number as well as the coach's name on your check.
  • An invoice can be generated in advance by contacting fll@perotmuseum.org. 
  • Only full and completed registration including payment reserves your spot. Payment must be received by 11:59 p.m. on November 18, 2016 or your team will not be able to compete.
  • Qualifer fees are nonrefundable.

To register for a Qualifier, teams must already be registered with FIRST. Qualifier registration will be handled through the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Registration will open in the fall. Coaches will receive additional instructions on how to register their team for a qualifier. 

You will need the following information available to register:

  • Team number
  • Team name
  • Coach’s name, email and phone number (we will communicate with you via email)
  • Payment

FAQs

How Much Does a Qualifier Cost?

$125.00. Qualifier and Championship registration fees are separate from the registration fee paid to FIRST when a coach registers their team. Competition registration fees will be due to the Perot Museum upon registration for the competitions. 

What Goes on at Qualifiers?

Each qualifier is a one-day-long event where teams will demonstrate what they've built, programmed, researched, and learned in four categories of competition:

Robot Game: Teams will go head-to-head in 2.5 minute matches, completing as many missions as possible with their autonomous robots on special Lego playing fields.

Judged Sessions:

  • Robot Design: Teams will demonstrate how and why they designed, built, and programmed their robots the way they did for the robot games.
  • Project: Teams will present the research project based on this year’s theme, Animal Allies. Challenge details will be released August 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. CST.  
  • Core Values: Teams will be given a surprise challenge designed to demonstrate their team work skills, cooperation, creativity, and Gracious Professionalism.

All Judged Sessions (Robot Design, Project, and Core Values) are 10 minutes long, including set-up, presentation for the judges, and questions from the judges.

Teams who score highly in the Robot Game matches AND rank highly in ALL judged categories will be eligible to advance to second-round qualifiers and/or the Regional Championship. 

Can my family and friends come to the Qualifiers?

Spectators are welcome to cheer on their teams at all qualifier events!

What if my team isn't ready in December?

Participate anyway! We get many calls from teams who do not think they are ready. Odds are your team is no less prepared than any of the other teams. A few teams are probably done with their robot by now, but the overwhelming majority of teams still have a pile of LEGOs and a bunch of disorganized children who are having a hard time making decisions. Sound like you? Congrats, you are right on schedule!

Part of the learning process is finishing the project presentation, making last minute tradeoffs on the robot design, and coming together as a team to complete the task. The deadline provides them an opportunity to learn that at some point they must make decisions, finalize plans, and act.

To help motivate your team, take an opportunity at your next meeting to point out the amount of time left, and work with your students to come up with a concrete plan on how to finish. This is a great opportunity for the students to learn about compromise. They will need to simplify and prioritize. With your guidance, they CAN do this.

Coaching Resources

Welcome new and returning coaches! The 2016-2017 FLL season is coming together and will officially begin August 30th with the release of the Animal Allies Challenge details. Good luck to all our North Texas teams! 

Team registration is open on FLL's website until late September-early or mid October. The first step to participating is to register through FIRST Headquarters. To register a team through FIRST, coaches will now have to pass a background check before they can register a team. Team registration is $225 and the field kits needed to participate are $75. You can find all the information you need, plus links to the registration websites, at www.firstlegoleague.org.

The 2016-2017 season officially began on August 30th when FIRST released the details of this year's Challenge, Animal Allies. Teams will come up with innovative solutions to a problem when people and animals interest and design a soluntion using science and technology to make the interaction better for animals, people or both. Teams will build and program LEGO Mindstorms robots to complete missions on a specialized LEGO playing field. Mission Model Build Instructions and the Field Setup Guide are available online.

We have lots of exciting events scheduled for this season, and we want to all of the teams participate in an as many as possible!

Additional Resources

For answers to FLL questions and details about the North Texas region, please contact Shannon Page at FLL@perotmuseum.org.

Consent and Release Form

FIRST LEGO® League requires all team members, coaches and anyone else associated with your team to sign an FLL Consent and Release form before being allowed to compete at an event. It is also recommended that you bring with you a team roster to ensure that you have all of the forms for all of the members of your team.

Click here to download the 2012 FLL Consent and Release Agreement.

Volunteers

In order to make the North Texas Regional FIRST LEGO® League Tournament a success, we will need more than 100 volunteers to help with a myriad of essential tasks. Included below is a breakdown of volunteer types along with the approximate number of hours of commitment, most of which take place February 4th at the Championship. Some positions require a training session but most do not.

The first step to volunteer to register for free with the FIRST Volunteer Information and Matching System (VIMS). As our local events are added to VIMS, you can sign up for specific events and roles. If you need additional information, please contact Shannon Page at FLL@perotmuseum.org.

Volunteering for FLL events is an extremely fun and rewarding way to see the hard work, dedication, and humor that teams put into their robots, projects, and Core Values over the last several months. Events are fast-paced, exciting, and lively with a role for just about anyone!

Volunteer TypeNumber NeededHours of CommitmentDays of Commitment
Tournament judge 35 14 2 (training and event)
Tournament referee 16 14 2 (training and event)
Competition Assistants and Judging Assistants 85 14 2 (training and event)
Tournament setup 15 4 1 (day prior to event)
Tournament strike 15 4

1 (day of event)

Training sessions are listed here as they become available.

Qualifier events need volunteers, too!

Twelve qualifying tournaments will be held on Saturdays in December. These events are smaller than the Championship, but require similar volunteer roles. If you are interested in volunteering for a Qualifier, please contact Shannon Page at FLL@perotmuseum.org

Judge and Referee volunteers for Qualifiers must attend a training session. Find more information on Qualifying events.

Championship

North Texas Championship Tournament

The FIRST LEGO® League Annual Regional Championship Tournament is a high-energy event held each winter to close the FLL season. Top scoring teams from each of the Qualifying tournaments are invited to participate in the region's highest level of competition. Teams showcase their science and technology skills as well as their ability to work as a team, address real-world problems and propose innovative solutions.

The public is invited to view the exciting Robot Games portion of the tournament where teams show off the robots they built and programmed, as they go head-to-head to complete missions on a specialized playing field. Behind the scenes, teams present their Projects, Robot Designs, and Core Values demonstrations to judges. The format for the Championship is the same as for the Qualifiers (see "Qualifiers Explained" above).

7th Annual Regional Championship Tournament

The 7th Annual North Texas Regional Championship Tournament was held Saturday, February 6, at Parish Episcopal School and Community Center in Dallas. 62 amazing teams that advanced from qualifiers showed off their Robot Designs, Trash Trek Projects, and Core Values in front of judges and competed in four wild rounds of Robot Game Matches! Lots of prizes were given out, but here are the top winning teams:

1st Place Champions: The Boys, Team 101, from Fort Worth

2nd Place Champions: Robot Wranglers, Team 141, from Coppell

3rd Place Champions: Team Mindcraft, Team 2006, from Mansfield.

Our local Championship teams went on to compete at national and international competitions. The Boys attended World Festival with over 105 FLL teams from 30 different countries, where they won 3rd Place Mechanical Design! The Robot Wranglers will compete in May at the North American Open Invitational at LEGOLand California, and Team Mindcraft will compete at the Razorback Open in Arkansas. Congratulations to all our North Texas teams!

If you are interested in volunteering or exhibiting at the next Championship, please see "FLL Volunteers" above.

Presenting Sponsor:
Lockheed Martin
Supporting Sponsors:
 
Time Warner Cable - Connect a Million Minds Exxon Mobile 


Rockwell Collins

FLL Grants

FIRST in Texas Grants

Applications opened September 1. By submitting a single application, your team is automatically considered for any FIRST in Texas grants for which they are eligible. 

The application system is new this year, so if you previously updated you old application or submitted an application for this year prior September 1st, you will need to complete a new application. Please review the Grants FAQ to learn about the new application process, view that application review and award distribution calendar, and to see what information we are requesting from teams this season. Teams should apply as soon as they have all requested information available.

Additional grants are also available through FIRST, National Instruments, NASA, and other companies. Clicke here for more details and make sure to apply!

Looking for more ways to raise money? Make sure to check out the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit!

2016 Team Hardship Grants

Team Hardship Grants are grants for teams that would be unable to participate if they did not receive some kind of assistance. 

To apply please send the following information to fll@perotmuseum.org with the subject line, "2016 Team Hardship Grants" by August 15th:

  • Team Name and Number (if number is available)
  • Coach Name and Email
  • Description of Need - Why does your team need a grant?
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation (at least one letter)
  • How would you use the grant (pick 2 out of these 3 options):
    • Registration 
    • Challenge Set
    • Robot Set

You must not have already purchased the above to receive the grant. If you have any questions please email fll@perotmuseum.org

LEGO Foundation Grants

LEGO Foundation grants are for rookie teams and the requirements are:

  • Commit to three years of being a team.
  • Participate in official events (Qualifiers and Championship if they advance)
  • Participate in training sessions, Kickoffs, and scrimmages
  • Contribute stories and photos to the LEGO Foundation grant Facebook page and other sharing opportunities as requested by FIRST and the LEGO Foundation periodically throughout the season (more details on this will come once the teams are established and the season officially begins
  • Coach must be proactive in staying abreast of everything they have to do as a coach and do everything in a timely manner (respond to requests for information, register for competitions, etc)
  • Team must be in need of an EV3 robot and not be receiving one from a school, district, etc.

The LF grants are in the form of products only, so the rookie teams that receive them will have to be registered through FIRST in order to be eligible, but should not order their Challenge sets (field kits) yet or EV3’s. 

To apply please send the following information to fll@perotmuseum.org with the subject line, "LEGO Foundation Grant Application" by August 25th:

  • Team Name and Number (if number is available)
  • Coach Name and Email
  • Description of Need - Why does your team need a grant?
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation (at least one letter)