FI
FIRST LEGO® League

FIRST LEGO® League

Welcome to the 2014 FIRST Lego League season!

The season opened on August 26 with the official release of World Class, this year's Challenge theme. Teams will use science, technology, creativity, teamwork, robots to answer the question, "What is the future of learning?" For details about FLL and this year's Challenge, visit www.firstlegoleague.org.

The announcement of the Annual Challenge marks the beginning of several fast and furious weeks of robot design, programming and trial!  At the same time, teams also engage in a research project related to the core mission of the Challenge. When the teams compete at the Regional Championship Tournament, judging isn’t 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. 

Team registration is currently open through FIRST Headquarters, but will end in mid-late September, so don't wait! See below for details on how to form and register a team and visit www.firstlegoleague.org/challenge/teamresources for complete details! 

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.

Key Dates
May 5, 2014 International FLL team registration begins
Field sets and team manuals begin to ship
Visit www.usfirst.org to register
August 26, 2014 Global Challenge released--World Class!
September 20, 2014 UTD COACH'S KICKOFF AND INTRODUCTORY CLINIC: INTRODUCTION TO GAME STRATEGY AND TEAM DYNAMICS
1:00-4:00 at the University of Texas at Dallas
September TBA, 2014 International FLL team registration closes--check www.firstlegoleague.org for exact date
September 27, 2014  UME Preparatory Academy Coach Clinic: Chassis and Attachments
October 4, 2014

FCA COACH'S KICKOFF AND INTRODUCTORY CLINIC: INTRODUCTION TO GAME STRATEY AND TEAM DYNAMICS

10:00-2:00 at Fellowship Christian Academy

October 4, 2014

UTD Coach Clinic: Technic Parts and Chassis Building

October 11, 2014

UME Prep Coach Clinic: Beginning and Advanced Programming

October 18, 2014

UTD Coach Clinic: Beginning and Advanced Programming

November 1, 2014 UTD Coach Clinic: Attachments and Preparation for the tournament
October-November, 2014 Registration for North Texas Qualifier events (dates TBA)
November 8, 2014 Fellowship Christian Academy Open Scrimmage
December 6 and 13, 2014 North Texas FLL Regional Qualifiers. Locations TBA.
January, 2014 North Texas FLL Super Qualifiers (if necessary, dates and locations TBD).
TBD Registration for North Texas Regional Championship (qualified teams only) 
February, 2014

North Texas FLL Championship Tournament
Hosted at The Hockaday School (date TBD)



For answers to burning FLL questions and details about the North Texas region, please contact Kristi Cantu at kristine.cantu@perotmuseum.org.

The Perot Museum is proud to serve as the North Texas affiliate for FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) — a regional engineering competition that challenges students to use their creativity and technical knowledge to create robots designed to solve real-world problems. It’s the ultimate combination of competition and discovery and it’s a proven winner when it comes to engaging students in math and science!

Creating an FLL Team

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

FLL teams consist of anywhere from 3 to 10 students. 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 at www.usfirst.org.
  4. Need help locating an FLL team in your area? Try FIRST's team-matching system, TeamUp. Click here to be directed to the FIRST website.

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. Go to www.firstlegoleague.org/startateam

       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. 


Contacts

For information about the FLL 2014 season and team development please contact Kristine Cantu at kristine.cantu@perotmuseum.org

Thanks for joining us for FLL 2014--World Class!

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

Rockwell Collins

FLL Qualifiers Explained

FIRST LEGO® League continues to grow in North Texas! Each season begins with teams registering with FIRST so they can participate in official competitions. The first round of competitions in North Texas are the qualifiers. During December, several qualifier competitions are held at schools throughout North Texas. Due to continuing growth of FLL in our region, we will likely have up to eight first-round qualifiers and possible second-round qualifiers in the 2014 season. The top-scoring teams from each qualifier will go on to compete in the second-level superqualifiers, and teams advancing from super qualifiers will advance to the North Texas Regional Championship. Teams must have scored highly in all four scored categories (Robot Game, Project, Robot Design and Core Values) to advance. Each team can only participate in one first-round qualifier, and one second-round super qualifier if they advance.

When Will Qualifiers Be Held?

First-round qualifiers will be held on December 6 and December 13. Second-round super qualifiers will be in January if necessary.

Where Will Qualifiers Be Held?

  • University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson)-December 6
  • UME Preparatory Academy (South Dallas)-December 6
  • Fellowship Christian Academy (South Dallas)-December 6
  • Parish Episcopal School (North Dallas)-December 13
  • Harmony School of Innovation (Fort Worth)-December 13
We are still confirming more qualifier locations, so stay tuned for more location options!

How Do I Register My Team?

To register for a Qualifier, teams must already be registered with FIRST through their headquarters. Qualifier registration will be handled through the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Registration will open in November (date TBA). Once registration has opened, coaches will receive instructions on how to register their team for a qualifier. 

After coaches receive the instructions and call to register, they will need to have the following information readily available:

  1. Team number and Team name
  2. Coach name, email and phone number (we will communicate with you via email)
  3. A list of your top three Qualifier locations in order of preference. We cannot guarantee a specific location or date. **Teams associated with a school that is hosting a Qualifier CANNOT compete in that school's event!
  4. Registration payment – payments may be made by credit card, check, or PO. If paying by check or PO, it must be received by the Perot Museum no later than two weeks prior to your Qualifier date. Send checks and PO's to: Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St., Dallas, TX 75201 Attn: Reservations

How Much Does a Qualifier Cost?

There is a flat fee of $100 per team that will cover registration to a first-round qualifier AS WELL as any advance competition the team qualifiers for (second-round super qualifier and/or Regional Championship. This payment will be due to the the Perot Museum upon registration for the first-round qualifier.

What Goes on Qualifiers? 

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

1. Robot Game matches: 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.

2. Robot Design judging sessions: Teams will demonstrate how and why they designed, built, and programmed their robots the way they did for the robot games.

3. Project judging sessions: Teams will present the research project they have been working on since the Challenge was released in August. This year's theme is World Class, challenging students to come up with innovative solutions using science and technology to improve the learning process.

4. Core Values Judging Sessions: 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, presention for the judges, and questions-and-answer with 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 super qualifiers and/or the Regional Championship. 

Spectators are welcome to cheer on their teams at all qualifier events! More details will be released soon!

What If My Team Isn't Ready In December?

With the addition of Qualifiers to the North Texas FLL season schedule, students will have a few less weeks to prepare their robot before competing. Every year a few weeks before the competition, emails and phone calls start appearing that teams are behind and probably won't make it to the tournament. Please read the following important observations we have made over the years before deciding not to attend:

  1. 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!

  2. Completing the season is far more important than scoring well.

    FLL was designed to challenge students of all abilities and stimulate their problem solving skills. The learning process is just as important as the destination. Remember, this is a game of golf, not football. You are playing the course, not the other teams. It may be the case that your score isn't the highest, and indeed someone will have the lowest score. 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. From our perspective, letting the students off the hook because they didn't manage their time effectively is the wrong approach and the wrong message.

  3. The deadline provides them an opportunity to learn that at some point they must make decisions, finalize plans, and act.

    It is a chance for them to realize that this is THEIR team, and THEY need to finish up in a timely way. We, as the FLL Regional Partner, really don't care that much about the robot. We do care about the process. We care that your students have had to come together as a team, work on a problem, and come up with a result. The process is a learning experience, especially for students who have not done this before. It is quite natural for the students to get behind schedule near the end. 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. They CAN do this. They just need your guidance to get it done.
Grade and TEKS Objectives:
Ages:
9-14

Grades:
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th

FLL Coaching Resources

Welcome new and returning coaches! The 2014 FLL season is almost here, so check back for more details to be added as the season gets moving.

Team registration will open through FIRST headquarters on May 5. 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 2014 season will officially begin on August 26 when FIRST releases the details of this year's Challenge, World Class. Check back soon for the North Texas season schedule, details on coach workshops, competitions, and more!

For answers to burning FLL questions and details about the North Texas region, please contact Kristi Cantu at kristine.cantu@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.

Grade and TEKS Objectives:
Ages:
9-14

Grades:
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th

FLL Volunteers

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 1 at the Championship (some positions require a training session in November, December, or January). If you are interested in helping to make this event a life-changing experience for the teams, please contact Elizabeth Duenn at elizabeth.duenn@perotmuseum.org or call 214.756.5844. We look forward to hearing from you!

Volunteer Type (# needed)

Hours of Commitment


Days 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 Kristi Cantu at kristine.cantu@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.

 

 

Grade and TEKS Objectives:
Ages:
9-14

Grades:
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th

FLL 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. 



6th Annual Regional Championship Tournament

The 6th Annual North Texas Regional Championship Tournament was held Saturday, February 1, at the Hockday School in Dallas. 56 teams participated in front of an audience of about 650 cheering fans, and 17 different trophies were given out in various categories. Our 1st Place Championship award went to The Republic of Pi from Plano, who will next participate at the FLL World Festival in St. Louis. The 2nd Place Championship award went to the Wildcats Blue from Rockwall, and the 3rd Place Championship award went to Team Vortex from Hudson Oaks. Congratulations to all the teams, and we hope to see you next season!

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
Grade and TEKS Objectives:
Ages:
9-14

Grades:
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th

FIRST LEGO® League
Program Events

FLL Qualifiers Explained
FLL Coaching Resources
FLL Volunteers
FLL Championship