It’s time to get started. Here are a few suggestions for what you could do in your first meetings with your team.
Get a large sheet of paper and make a calendar of the FLL season. Be sure to add meetings and important dates. Bring the calendar to each meeting and update it to include any changes as the season progresses.
Play a game to learn each other’s names.
Print and hand out the Mission Model building instructions. Have the children build the models, then place the models on the playing field in the appropriate positions.
Brainstorm a variety of ways to learn about this year’s Challenge theme. As a group, decide if you will invite a guest speaker or go on a team field trip. If this isn’t possible, consider connecting with professionals via email or phone instead.
Challenge Release Meeting The FLL Challenge is released on August 1st on FIRST CHALLENGE website. Once it is released, you can download the Challenge document, which contains the Project description, Missions, Rules, and Field Setup.
Many teams gather on the day the Challenge is released for a team party to celebrate the new Challenge. Download the materials together and start brainstorming. If your team begins meeting after the Challenge is released, don’t despair! Simply download the Challenge materials as soon as you can.
Team Goals Work with your team to set goals for the season and put them on paper. Include expectations for the group’s success, functioning as a team, and exhibiting FLL Core Values. Write down what concepts you expect to learn and what your team would like to accomplish on the Challenge by the end of the season.
FLL events provide excitement and recognition and celebrate each team’s accomplishments. However, the true goals of FLL have nothing to do with winning medals or trophies. If your team members can look back at the end of the season and say even 1 of the following, you have achieved an important goal:
We learned how useful and fun technology and science can be.
We did something we didn’t think we could do.
We helped our community.
We improved over last year.
We figured out how to manage time, deal with setbacks, or communicate ideas.
We had fun!
Team Building Team building exercises allow members to communicate feelings in a positive and healthy manner and encourage Gracious Professionalism® as they work together toward a common goal. They’re also fun. Team building can be difficult with a schedule that is very structured. Sometimes letting children have fun together allows them to develop communication and respect, leading to smoother progress when work resumes.
Team building activities might include:
Have team members interview each other and share what they learn with the whole group. Provide some questions to get them started.
Have each team member write down the steps required to move around an obstacle in the room. Create pairs, and have one child read his or her instructions while the other child acts as the robot. The “robot” must follow the instructions exactly, even if they don’t work. This demonstrates what it is like to program a real robot.
Work together to come up with a team name and logo.
Create unique team hats, a handshake, or a cheer.
Quick Start Guide
Running an FLL Challenge team takes organization and planning, but it is also a lot of fun! Below we have provided checklists of essential tasks to help you prepare for the season. If you are new to FLL, you may want to focus only on these tasks. You can add more activities as you and your team gain experience. Please keep in mind that these checklists are only intended as a starting point.
Pre-Season Preparation for the Coach
You will get an email from FIRST that instructs you how to set up your account on FIRST in Spires.
After you pass FIRST and BHS background checks, and complete FIRST Youth Protection online training, BHS Robotics will do your team's seasonal registeration.
Once your team is formed, BHS Robotics register your team with FIRST LEGO League Challenge.
FIRST in Michigan and BHS Robotics will usually contact you by email with important updates. Make sure you provide a valid email address when you register, and check that inbox often throughout the season.
Read the resource on BHS Robotics website.
Review the Core Values.
Contact your team to confirm everyone is "in", and ask for help from other team parents.
Plan adult supervision for all team meetings.
Decide how you will distribute information to your team’s members, parents, and Mentors.
Decide where and when your team will meet.
Identify at least 1 computer your team may use (must have internet access).
Before the Challenge is Released
Attend the FLL Challenge Coach training hosted by BHS Robotics in the end of July.
Create a meeting schedule and begin meeting with your team.
Calculate what expenses your team will have and consider how the team will pay those costs.
Review the Core Values and Gracious Professionalism® with parents and team members.
Set up a practice competition area and storage for equipment between meetings.