To allow students of all ages to learn and get excited about robotics, FIRST has not only one but four robotics programs. One of these groups is the FLL competition, or FIRST Lego League. Unlike FRC, the competition that our team competes in, FLL is designed for middle school students interested in robotics and requires the use of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® systems rather than the standard kit of parts that FRC competitors receive. As such, it is important for FRC teams to help their sibling counterparts expand and develop their abilities and passions as well.
As part of its initiative to help out the robotics community in new ways, Team 1403 Cougar Robotics recently delivered a presentation to FLL Team 4396 about the principles and practicalities of FIRST. “One thing we thought was really important to explain was how to talk to judges,” commented team leader Tiffany Lin, “We found that one of the biggest things that younger kids have trouble with is communicating effectively with the judges, to show them the unique aspects about their team and robot.” To that end, our presenters coached the FLL team how to speak with judges effectively.
Additionally, our team also demonstrated the importance of communication to their FLL counterparts by hosting teamwork games for them. As the pressures of build season accrue, being able to keep the entire team on the same page becomes especially important. We simulated these kinds of conditions in a lighthearted setting through these games. FLL team members were given various challenges and the selected a few to execute and performed admirably.
Finally, our presenters explained what FIRST robotics meant to them personally. With these reasons given concretely, we hope that the members of this FLL team will remain motivated to do FLL and eventually FRC.