This year brings in the addition of a new robotics system to FLL and a new challenge. Each year brings brings a new theme, and with it come new opportunities to learn from exploring transportation. For a new team, it can seem overwhelming.
However, it’s not as bad as it seems. There are some resources that can be found online that can help all teams, from the just forming to the veterans. Here’s a list that will be updated as more site are found or pointed out to me.
Organization and Rules
The FLL Challenge Update can be found here. Updates and amendments to rules to the Robot Game are posted here. This page is constantly updated!
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is the group that oversees FIRST LEGO League. The FIRST Championship is held at the end of the season and is a global tournament held at two sites in the US. Other regions have invitational tournaments. The 2020-2012 season has been extended so the Championship sites are Houston, Texas in mid July and Detroit, Michigan in early August.
The best way to keep up with developments on FIRST programs is to subscribe to the FIRST newsletter . Locally, you can find and contact your FIRST regional contact.
FIRST LEGO League Challenge and Season Info
FIRST has a page that can lead you to all the information you need. But if you are in a hurry, here’s a breakdown:
Cost and Registration:
Challenge and Resources:
All information on the FLL Challenge is here, including rules, videos, and instructions for Challenge models. The most important link is to the Challenge Update, which is an ongoing document of rule clarifications and changes that happen during the season.
Team Management Resources:
Go to this page to get an overall look at the resources available on the FIRST site to help your team. Some have already been mentioned above.
Go to this page to see a few more resources that will be of use to coaches and teams.
Remote Events for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge
Read this to find out about the steps so far being taken by FIRST concerning remote tournaments and events.
FIRST’s Facebook Page
Unofficial FLL Links
There are other pages to teams and groups that are involved with FLL. Here is a list.
FLL Challenge: Share and Learn
Both of the groups above are made up of coaches, teams and mentors who share information and advice between each other concerning all areas of FLL. Robot strategy and project solutions are not discussed, as these are to be learned by the teams themselves. General questions about robots and projects are allowed.
There are many FLL team sites, but Techbrick Robotics is a site that is a great reference and has been updated to the 2020-21 season! All parts of the Challenge are touched upon, from robot advice to presentation skills. if you want to see a great example of community sharing and Core Values, just click and check out the page!
Here are some websites with tutorials for robot building and team building.
EV3 (MINDSTORMS) Tutorials
LEGO Education has some tutorials that are in the software that comes with their set. If you don’t have their software, the lessons are here.
FLL Mission Tutorial
FIRST provided a mission lesson in the City Shapers Challenge which was done in 2019-2020. This is a quick way to see and learn the process of solving a mission.
What started as a team project became much more with EV3Lessons.com. Here, anyone can download lessons to start building or sharpen their programming skills with the EV3…
This is an addition to EV3Lessons.com which entails the much newer SPIKE Prime system.
FLL released a cheat sheet for programming blocks in SPIKE.
This is a complete tutorial site for FLL, from robot to to team building.
Core Values and Teambuilding Activities
Here’s a list of activities to teach and reinforce Core Values composed by Green Mouse Academy.
Young Bot Builders also has a list.
Odds and Ends
For the things that aren’t easily categorized, I have this.
Robot Game Aids
In FLLTutorials, there are some aids to figuring out scoring and strategy for RePlay:
1. a scorer page that can be used to see how to maximize a robot’s score.
2. a sketch planner to map a robot’s path on the game board. Using the line drawing function, length and heading are also shown.
3. Worksheets and guides – Guides for notebooks and missions are here, as well as Covid-19 restrictions for team meetings.
MINDSTORMS EV3 Lab Software
For those who are using the EV3, the new software is a completely new language based on Scratch. Those looking for the older software can go here. This is especially beneficial to Mac users using OS 10.13 or earlier – the newer software will not run on those OS types. Both the old Lab software and new software will work on OS 10.14 (Mojave)
Finally, while there are a lot of pages on setting up a team, funding a team is much more challenging, as different areas have different resources. If you want to know about grants and sponsors, find and contact your regional FLL contact and also go here. While the guide at the link is geared to FIRST Tech Challenge, this can be adapted to FIRST LEGO League. Your contact will be able to give you information on local technology grants your team qualify for.
And…if anyone wants to add a link here drop me a line in the comments! Thanks!