Transitioning From FIRST LEGO League to other FIRST Programs

The following discussion is quoted from the Facebook Group FLL: Share & Learn .

Question from Francis Cariño Belizario: Any of your FLL team members also part of an FTC team? Any transition stories?

Response from Gloria Gibson

No–although my 4 team members on FTC are all under 14 yrs. old and could be doing FLL–they choose to move up and challenge themselves. It’s not something I recommend for everyone, but when you have some kids that have succeeded in FLL it makes sense to take the next step sooner.

Response from Joseph Gillen

We have our FLL teams up until 8th grade, then start FTC in high school. We’re only in our second year of FTC, but the kids with FLL experience are clearly the leaders. We have done it no other way, but this has worked perfectly for us.

Response from Faith Knudsen Bongiorno

Double check, students can only be on one roster per season is my understanding from FIRST. We ran into this question of students doing both FLL and FTC last year in SC. My son just transition to FRC for next season. He did FLL from 3rd-8th grades. He looked at both FRC and FTC. He choose FRC because of the mechanical design opportunities. His new team is working on STEM outreach over the summer and fall. It is clear who are former FLL members versus students who have never involved in a FIRST program.

Response from Charles Angel:

We are in the process of our first transition. Our team of 10 FLL kids won state and advanced to Worlds last season. Only one officially aged out, but we decided to move 7 of them up. We did a three week Summer training with them and saw great interest and motivation / excitement with the new set of challenges. Some of our rookie FLLers this year are old enough to do FTC, however, you can see a difference between those with FLL experience…so we want them to gain some confidence and experience in FLL. This is our first FTC team, so it is a work in progress and we will have more information about the transition in the future. I will be curious to hear and see others input on this topic

Response from Francis Cariño Belizario:

Thanks to all replies. I asked because when we did this three years ago, not only was the scheduling a major issue due to conflicts but the biggest problem for us was the transition from “visual programming” to “text programming”. And although we were one of only two middle school teams against 14 high schools, we still won an award.

I was just introduced to Blockly and highly recommend it as an aid to help FLL kids transition to FTC with regards to proramming.