This article provides one coach’s view of what a team needs to accomplish in one season of FIRST LEGO League. It is intended to provide a new coach a high-level view of what their team needs to work on during the season. Check with your tournament director for any region-specific requirements. Some regions give more or less time for presentations. Others do not require or have presentations at all. The most important deliverable for any team is to HAVE FUN!
This list started with my packing list for a tournament. I then expanded it to include the things we do throughout the season. The kids will do the work, but the coaches (that’s you!) will do the organization, scheduling, facilitation, and teaching of specific needed skills. The skills include mechanical design and programming of robots of course, but also writing a coherent presentation, talking to experts, sharing information with judges and other interested parties, teamwork, effective negotiation and communication within the team, strategy, time management, and how to have fun while doing all of that. Some things on a single line will take up enormous amounts of time, like the robot game, and the research project.
1) Come up with a team cheer / chant (Team cheers are not required, but can be a great way to show spirit) 2) Learn the Core Values 3) Practice Core Values while executing Project and Robot game 4) Do specific Core Values activities and improve communication 5) If possible, meet with / help / collaborate with another team or a Jr. FLL team 6) Develop a 2 min presentation
1) Core Values poster (optional in some regions) 2) Team core values summary to leave with judges 3) Props / scripts / presentation materials 4) Giveaways to share with other teams 5) Team spirit / cheering items (balloons, megaphones, pennants, whatever) 6) Pit decorations 7) Banner / flag for the parade (Some regions have team parades)
1) Learn about theme 2) Meet with experts 3) Choose a problem 4) Develop an innovative solution 5) Meet with experts for feedback and sharing 6) Develop a 5 min presentation
1) Project poster board 2) Team project summary to leave with the judges 3) Props / scripts / presentation 4) Solution prototype (if your team has one)
1) Maintain an engineering notebook – the story of our robot (This is not required and does not have to be as detailed as those created in FTC or FRC, but documenting your design is helpful) 2) Think about strategy – how does the game board shape our solutions? 3) Solve robot game missions 4) Develop a 4min presentation
1) Robot design executive summary (RDES) to leave with judges 2) Code to share (printed or on computer) 3) Short presentation – the story of our robot (Some regions require a 4 minute RDES presentation) 4) Robot / attachments / charger / download cable 5) Computer / power supply (have mission model build instructions on computer) 6) Extra LEGO elements 7) Backup of programs 8) Power strip / extension cord 9) Printed Challenge document 10) Small table (Some regions ask teams to bring their own table for keeping parts during the robot runs) 11) Have photographs of robot and attachments in case of damage along the way
1) Snacks for the team 2) Pens / paper / tape / scissors / clipboard 3) Consider food – is it available at tournament? Bag lunch? Go get pizza? 4) Presentation skills! 5) Card games or small activities to pass the time 6) Bring your social skills - go talk to other teams and make new friends
1) Trophies or other items for each team member (choose, design, purchase, build)