Lego League

I just happened to notice that Lego League registration opended today. The new game is called ‘Mission Mars.’ I am planning on working with some teams again next year and i will have to start contacting people about getting them started soon. Anybody else excited to go work with Lego League next year?

I am considering starting a team. Any advice for someone just starting out with Lego League?

Yes! I’m starting a team this year!! Or at least I reeeeeeally want to…But you can do anything you put your mind to, right??

*Originally posted by Brant Bowen *
**Anybody else excited to go work with Lego League next year? **

Our school district was at a standstill for about a year. All after school programs disappeared in elementary and jr hi. NO interest in Lego League. They recently resolved things.

After Phoenix regional we suddenly got 3 bites on Lego Leagues.

Then at recent Earth Day we discovered two guys have started robotics’ clubs in elementary schools in Manhattan Beach. They were thinking of starting Lego Leagues. We’re going to hook up with them.

Our team’s so psyched up about it, the kids (not me YAY) are contacting the schools and pursuing it.

/me feeling a little inadequate - it’s a brand new adventure.

Doug,
You already have a head start having been with a FIRST team. I work with seven Lego teams at a local middle school. It is essential that you have a teacher or two who are willing to take the responsibility for student stuff. (travel, attendance, permission forms, school scheduling, etc.) We have found that a team size of 6-8 works fairly well. If the students and adults wish to also work on the premise and presentations or wish to work on website and promotions, then additional students may be needed. We have fallen into the same kind of structure used in FIRST in that a few students on each team become responsible for mechanical, software, strategy, etc. With two students working in each category, one can be absent and the work will still progress. One student will become a team leader, but it is important that you work with them to help out in this area. We have found that age differences can lead to strife and so we have had an occasional sixth grade only team to help with that problem.
We meet two days a week in the normal after school time period, 3:30 to 5:15PM. This allows the students access to a bus home at 5:15. Our school also has a Saturday morning program for all students, so we occasionally meet on Saturdays, particularly close to game day. The teams meet in the tech center where there is room to put up two tables for playing field and where all the computers are accessible for programming. Encourage parents to help, they are a good resource for extra hands, building the playing field tables, covering when other adults can’t be available and helping out at competition.
Lastly, stress “gracious professionalism” from the first day. They will look at you funny for several days, but it will take hold. Have fun and good luck!

Thanks Al.

I copied your advice to my computer for reference.

Sounds like I may soon be embarking on another FIRST adventure.

I’ve been involved with lego league for the past three years, and I would definitely recommend it! Here’s my advice for running a lego league team:

  1. Make tackle boxes for your lego kits! Fishing tackle boxes work well. label the compartment to show which pieces belong where (a picture of the piece along with the number of that type of piece printed below works well). This way, when the kids are cleaning up they know how many pieces are missing. If you don’t do this, plan on loosing about half of the legos during the project.

  2. For a team of 8-10 elementary school students, 3 mentors (high school students or adults) is about the minimum. Try to have the same mentors each week, so they can form relationships with the students.

  3. Plan on meeting twice a week for 2 hours in the beginning, with some extra work time thrown in the last few weeks if things aren’t coming together well.

  4. It’s nice if there is a 5-10 minute snack brake halfway through the meetings- the kids complain about being hungry if there isn’t, and it makes them more focused when they come back. This is a good place for parents to get involved- assign each family a week to bring a snack.

  5. Have fun! Remember that it’s their robot, so try your hardest to keep from building it for them;) . If the kids don’t have an extensive lego background, the “constructopedia” (which comes in the mindstorm kit) is a good place to start- it has explicit directions showing how to make some simple robots.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] . Good luck!

-Caroline Conley
Gunn Robotics, team 192

Thanks for the advice guys!

A guy on my team wants to start a Lego team at a middle school…But middle schoolers are punks. I don’t wanna work with 'em. =P

Love the advice, helping me to feel a little more confident.

We are helping start about 10-15 new teams this year. We are not organizing them. We are helping the teachers at the schools organize them. If the teachers do not take the initiative there will be not teams. We already have 5 confirmed and another 7 or so on the way. My robotics students will be the mentors only. The on site teacher will be in charge of the team. We are also giving out 10 $150 matching grants to pay the registration for 10 teams. This summer we will be having a summer Lego league day camp and we are trying to get Lego League Regional at the High School next year.

The best advise I can give is to get ON SITE TEACHERS to run the team and you just help/assist. With out on site help it is very difficult to have a team. Not impossible but a lot more work.

Get students to take charge and run the show and you help them also.

Shawn
team 60

*Originally posted by Alaina *
Thanks for the advice guys!
A guy on my team wants to start a Lego team at a middle school…But middle schoolers are punks.

You were a middle schooler once too! Middle school students are just little FIRST roboteers! Treat them that way and you will be fine.

Cheryl, good luck getting things going. You guys can always PM me if you have any questions or are looking for help.

*Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz *
**Cheryl, good luck getting things going. You guys can always PM me if you have any questions or are looking for help. **

Thank you! I may be pm’ng that I just need to hear this will work out.

Just a question… when is Lego League registration due, and how much does it cost?

*Originally posted by Jeff Waegelin *
**Just a question… when is Lego League registration due, and how much does it cost? **

FIRST Lego League

On FIRST site about Lego League

Registration

Q. What does the coach need to know in order to start a team and what is the
cost?
A. For general questions about becoming an FLL coach, be sure to read our
Get Involved FAQ <http://www.usfirst.org/jrobtcs/FLL_FAQ.htm> page. The
approximate cost for a new team (including the registration fee and all
required materials) is $600. See product descriptions and pricing for
complete details.

Thanks. We’re trying to get a team started at one of our middle schools, and those were my two big questions.

You ought to try looking here. These guys have put together a real nice package with a lot of info. check it out…
http://www.hightechkids.org/fll/

*Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz *
**You ought to try looking here. These guys have put together a real nice package with a lot of info. check it out…
http://www.hightechkids.org/fll/ **

Cool! Thanks!

*Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz *
** You were a middle schooler once too! Middle school students are just little FIRST roboteers! Treat them that way and you will be fine. **
I was never a middle schooler; I was merely in the 7th and 8th grade!

Middle schoolers are just the right age to think that they’re “kool big kids” and give you attitudes. I’m sorta thinking that 9 and 10 year-olds would be more excited about it than 12 and 13 year-olds…
remembers that sixth graders will be put in middle school next year
Argh…I need to talk to Chuck…

I live with in a mile 1/2 of 2 middle schools that don’t have a lego leauge team, I hope I can start one in at least one of the schools, I think My only problem is going to be getting students interested because they might think that they will be made fun of for “playing with Lego’s”. Has this been a problem for anyone else before?

I have a middle school about 5 minutes walking distance from my house, and I was involved in many of the technology oriented after school activities. Normally it isnt too difficult to get kids who are already involved in TSA (Technology Student Association), KWN (Kid Witness News), Junior Solar Sprint and even Science Olympiad to do Lego League.

The middle school has a great Technology Education class for 7th and 8th graders which gives them exposure to engineering projects on a small scale. Luckily the kids love the class, so an after school program is just more fun.

Try and talk to the Tech Ed teachers or whoever is running science olympiad, those teachers normally know who to talk to student wise.