FLL is the BEST value for your Volunteer time!

Invitation for Volunteers

FIRST LEGO League is a new dimesion for your limited volunteer time.  FLL is offering exciting, vibrant tournament events this fall, inspiring kids about their ability to produce - to solve problemswith science and technology!

Introducing FIRST

Founded by entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST offers robotics competitions for school agers K-12, with big scholarship offerings for the high school teams - nearly 10 million dollars for the 09-10 season!
(FIRST=For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology)

As Dean says, we can offer virtually any member of a high school robotics team a chance to go pro.  How many other high school activities can make that claim?

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a competition based opportunity for boys and girls age 9-14 to invent robots to accomplish tasks.  Teams are awarded trophies in four different areas of competition judging: Robot performance on the playing field, robot design - both mechanically and programatically, team-work and research and innovation.  Several Colorado  competitions are occurring this November along the Front Range from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs, and on the Western Slope.

You are encouraged to attend free of charge to view the activity, and for a true ground level perspective, volunteering your time and talents to support this terrific program.

Hands on STEM

Robotics design and engineering involves several disciplines.  Our mission is to give younger children the opportunity to explore the fun and excitement of technical problem solving, providing the opportunities and the tools to succeed.  Based on the LEGO* MINDSTORMS* robotics invention system, teams of 4 to 10 kids will analyze the challenge missions and design and build their own robot to autonomously negotiate the challenge in 2½ min for up to 400 points.

Gear ratios, timing, distance, speed, optics, structures and force all play a significant part in the design of a successful robot. Teams write the robot's software using logic, branching and looping based on input from sensors including distance traveled, touch, proximity and light.  This is truly an exercise in physics, logic and teamwork.

Every FLL challenge - a unique design each year - is based on a contemporary and relevant social or scientific condition or circumstance which teams must research, identify a problem, and offer an innovative solution to.  This year the challenge is titled "Food Factor" with an appropriate focus on "Keeping Food Safe".  

Previous year's challenges focused on engineering and medicine, transportation challenges, climate change, alternative power sources, oceans cultivation, applications of nanotechnology, barrier free urban life, and Mars exploration.  FLL challenges have been produced for more than 10 years and plans are already in the works for the challenge of 2012.

Success redefined

Today's media driven culture implants in our youth the assumption that success is found only in terms of stardom on a concert stage or a sports arena.  There are plenty of examples children simply absorb in their daily television diet, and an over emphasis sports activities.

FIRST programs meet this definition of success head on, celebrating STEM prowess through the production of exciting tournaments around the world. FIRST LEGO League in Colorado will produce several (8 in 2011) FLL qualifiers during November & December, along with a championship in early December.

Sporting and music are important humanistic experiences that we whole heartedly encourage, but not to the exclusion of reasoning skills and an understanding of the physical world in which we live.  Our mission is to encourage our youth in the rich fulfilment of a technical discpline.  We want to plant the seeds of science and engineering in the elementary and middle school students, encouraging them to expand their skills further in high school, make a claim to their share of
the scholarship funding available for college, and establish themselves in professional technical careers in the coming decades.

Competitions and Tournaments

Teams are often formed in schools, neighborhoods, churches and scout groups.  Nearly 240 teams will compete in 6 qualifier events in Colorado.  Approximately 25% of those teams will advance to the Colorado Championship in Denver in early December.  Up to three teams will advance to one of two national competitions in the spring.

Sponsorship

These events are produced in accodance with the standards set forth by US FIRST. They are supported financially by the fund raising efforts of individual tournament directors and the board of Mindsports Colorado, a Colorado registered 501(c)3 organisation founded specifically for the operation of FIRST programs here.

Community involvement and Core Values

The best teams will be selected on their over-all demonstration of robot design, research and innovation in their project, and core values, eg "it's not what we win but what we learn" and Gracious Professionalism.   Two teams will advance to one of the national events - the World Festival (in years where Colorado is selected by lottery to attend) and/or the US National Open!

Call for Volunteers

These programs rely heavily on volunteer efforts of people from all walks of life. Our greatest need is for qualified individuals to judge the categories mentioned above: robot design, team work and innovative research.

Please review the roles available and register at the tournament most convenient to you listed on the Volunteer page, and please know how much we all THANK YOU for support FLL in Colorado!

* LEGO, NXT and MINDSTORMS are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group (R).