FIRST LEGO® League continues to grow in North Texas! Each season begins with teams registering with FIRST so they can participate in official competitions. 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 qualifiers in the 2013 season. The top-scoring teams from each qualifier will go on to compete in 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. This means that teams that win awards may not advance to the Regional Championship and vice versa. Please make sure your teams are aware of this change before the Qualifiers. Teams are only eligible for one Qualifying event per season.
When Will Qualifiers Be Held?
Qualifying events usually take place during the first two weekends of December. Check back soon for exact dates and times.
Where Will Qualifiers Be Held?
Qualifier locations for the 2013 season have not yet been confirmed. Check back soon for exact locations and times.
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. Qualifier registration will be in October-- check back soon for exact dates and times. Once the registration time period has been announced, coaches will call the Perot Museum reservations line at 214.428.5555 x8. Remember, your team must already be registered with FLL.
When you call to make your reservation, please 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 – your payment is due the last day of registration or your registration will not be held. Cost of registration will be announced soon. Due to the number of teams competing in the North Texas region, we cannot guarantee a specific Qualifier location or date. No late reservations will be accepted!
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.