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FIRST LEGO® League

FIRST LEGO® League

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!

Team registration for the 2016 season will open on Tuesday, May 10 at noon!

Register Your Team Here

Qualifier registration for the 2016 season will open in fall. Teams must be registered 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.

2016-2017 Events

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

Challenge Details

Released August 30, 2016 at 11am CST

Clinics

September 10, 2016
1:30–4:30pm
Kick Off/Team Dynamics
University of Texas at Dallas

September 17, 2016
1–5pm
Kick Off/Team Dynamics
Fellowship Christian Academy

October 1, 2016
9am–12pm
Building with LEGO Mindstorms 101
UME Preparatory Academy

October 15, 2016
9am–12pm
Chassis and Attachments 101
UME Preparatory Academy

October 29, 2016
FLL Programming
UME Preparatory Academy

November 12, 2016
9am–12pm
FLL Tournament Overview
UME Preparatory Academy

November 19, 2016
9–11:30am
FLL Regional Qualifier Judge and Referee Training
UME Preparatory Academy 

Scrimmages

November 5, 2016
FLL Scrimmage
Fellowship Christian Academy

November 19, 2016
FLL Scrimmage
Grand Saline Middle School 

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 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. The top-scoring teams advance to 1 of the 2 Second Round Qualifiers in January. The top-scoring teams from the Second Round Qualifiers then move on to the North Texas Regional Championship in February. 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. An invoice can be generated in advance by contacting fll@perotmuseum.org. 
  • Only full and completed payment reserves your spot. Payment must be received by 11:59 p.m. on November 18, 2016.

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 dollars, 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 will officially begin on August 30th when FIRST releases the details of this year's Challenge, Animal Allies. Teams will come up with innovative solutions to the real-world problem using science and technology, and will build and program LEGO Mindstorms robots to complete missions on a specialized LEGO playing field. 

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 6 at the Championship (some positions require a training session in November, December, or January). 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 fun, and there's a role for just about anyone!

Volunteers for FLL are required to register in the FIRST Volunteer Information and Matching System (VIMS). As our local events are added to VIMS, potential volunteers can sign up for specific events and roles. If you are interested in volunteering for FLL, please contact Shannon Page at FLL@perotmuseum.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

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)

To learn more about volunteering with FLL, please download: FLL FAQs

To learn more about specific categories of volunteers, please download: FLL Volunteer Roles

Dates and times of judge, referee and general volunteer training sessions will be announced after the season has started.

Qualifier events need volunteers, too!

Seven qualifying tournaments will be held the first two 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. Points of contact for Qualifier hosts include the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at Dallas, Jesuit Preparatory School in Dallas, Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Harmony School of Innovation in Fort Worth, UME Preparatory Academy in Dallas, and Fellowship Christian Academy. 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

FIRST LEGO® League
Program Events

Creating a Team
2016-2017 Events
Qualifiers Explained
Coaching Resources
Volunteers
Championship