General NCaFLL Frequently
Questions about the coaching, challenge,
ordering equipment or team registration: Ask
If you still have an unanswered
question, check out the NCaFLL website,
read past messages on the yahoogroup at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCaFLL,
read the National FLL team forum, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- How do I find a team?
- In general, most teams get formed by a parent or teacher and that person either becomes the coach and/or recruit others to co-coach
- Playing At Learning is not in a position to coordinate team formation in your area
- We do allow posts to the ncafll yahoogroup from those looking for a team and from those looking to add to their existing team
- We encourage robotics club in your area to get started to help provide a better experience for all and help with team formation and support. There are a few existing examples including school-based clubs in Fremont [Chadbourne and Hopkins] and a community-based club in Los Altos
- Coaching a FLL team is not difficult and does not require specialized knowledge, but it does take time and patience. We offer coaches training on an "as needed" basis.
- How do I complete the
team profile if my team list is not finalized?
- To be eligible to complete
in FLL, every team must complete the team profile on the register4fll.com
- The team profile does
not ask for team member names but instead is really focused
on finalizing coach contact and institution information
- If the team is a community-based team (not affiliated with an institution), please go ahead and fill in the information for where the team is located or where the team meets. This information is used just for statistics and not individually.
- How do I assemble the
- The box should contain
a CD that has all of the building instructions on it
- The instructions are
in individual PDF files - hundreds of pages total and in color.
- If you really did not
get a CD, please send email to email@example.com
or contact the LEGO
Educational Division Customer Service number is 800-362-4308
- I have questions about
this year's challenge - where do I go?
- Each year, there is
challenge Q&A page. [link is valid only during the season.]
- For official answers
not in the rules, missions or Q&A, contact FIRST.
- If your question is
specific to Northern California, contact the tournament partner,
Playing At Learning.
- How do I find out the details
about this year's (or any of the past years) challenge?
- All FLL challenge details are available on the FIRST
LEGO League website. Note that the current year's challenge
details are announced in mid-September.
- How do I find out how
my team will be judged?
- After you register
a team and payment is received, you will receive a hard copy of
your FLL Coaches' Handbook. It is important that you review
it carefully each year.
- In general, teams should
expect that equal weight is given to the 4 judging areas: teamwork,
technical judging, project judging, and robot performance.
- What do we do if some
of our challenge field parts are missing or damaged?
- Where do we find Guides
for coaching FLL teams?
- Are local training workshops
available for FLL Coaches and Mentors?
- Playing At Learning is expecting to hold workshops each Fall to
review challenge details and answer questions. Additional workshops
can be scheduled upon request/need.
- Occasionally FLL Coach/Mentor Workshops are offered in Northern
California by other groups/individuals/businesses. These will be
posted on the ncafll yahoogroup
- How do teams register
for FIRST LEGO League? When is the registration deadline for this season?
- To register one or more FLL teams, visit the team registration
page off of the FIRST website.
- Registration is open between early May to mid/late September.
Note that there is a maximum number of teams and the 2008 limit
is ~7,800 teams for US and Canada.
- Registration will close when the maximum limit is reached or no
later than the end of September.
- How do I update our
team profile, including the email address for receiving important announcements?
- During the open enrollment
time, you can update your FLL team profile by visiting the team
- In the past, some coaches
had a problem in updating team profiles. One solution was to reset
the browser web cookies for the register4fll site.
- Important: To receive
information specific to Northern California FLL, make sure you are
subscribed to the NCaFLL Yahoo Groups email list.
- If you change your email
address in the FLL team profile, also update your NCaFLL subscription
- To join or update your
NCaFLL subscription, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCaFLL
- Does it matter how much
the coaches, mentors and parents help the kids on their robot and presentation?
- All FLL activity should be completely done by the team members.
- This includes all work on the design, construction and programming
of the team's robot, as well as all of the research and presentation
of the research project.
- Work or direct instruction on the challenge must NOT be done by
any of the coaches, mentors, parents or other adults.
- It is important to follow the guidelines in the coaches' handbook
about coaches providing facilitation and guidance for the kids,
but not working directly on the content of the project.
- Do not jeopardize your team's chances of an award by helping them
- Teams can be disqualified from advancing and/or winning an
award if the judges deem that the team has had inappropriate adult
intervention/help/assistance and/or if the team does not demonstrate
all aspects of the FLL program.
- The full benefit of FLL occurs when kids can feel a sense of accomplishment
from knowing that their FLL efforts come 100% from their own minds
and hands. This feeling of accomplishment and empowerment is what
FLL is all about.
- Something to consider: We have been told that, in general, team
members that had too much parent or adult "help" have
tended to not only drop out of FLL (and similar programs), but also
then express a negative attitude towards careers in technology/engineering
in general. This means that although the team may have one "accomplished"
year, the long term effect on individuals is pretty dismal.
- We know that many of you are already inspired / excited about
engineering and science as many of our adults/coaches/mentors are
working engineers and scientists. Help give that sense of accomplishment
to the next generation by enabling them to prove to themselves that
they are capable. By showing them answers and directly intervening,
you are proving to them that they are not capable of coming up with
good engineering solutions. Think about it!
- How can I help or volunteer ?
- All tournaments need help - time (planning, day of volunteering,
and cleanup), and money are the big ways to help. There are many
small ways to help as well. Playing At
Learning can put you in contact with all of the tournament directors.
- If you want to help with planning, please contact us soon. Planning
meetings for some tournaments have already started.
- Help with volunteering at a tournament or similar.
- Are FLL teams allowed
to use LEGO parts other than those that are included with the FLL Robot
Set? What is the allowed parts list?
- As in previous seasons,
for this season, there will be almost no restrictions on the LEGO parts
allowed in the construction of an FLL challenge robot, except for a
limit on electrical parts. Consult the rules in your FLL Coaches'
Handbook and/or the FLL
Rules for more details. .
- How do I make a donation
to directly support the Northern California FLL program and/or Tournament(s)?
- You can donate
money for all tournaments or a specific tournament, such as the NCaFLL
Championship tournament. Via paypal, just specify your donation on the
"Payment For" portion of the form. Via check or money order,
specify your donation on the Memo section of the check.
- Can we bring more than
3 motors or 2 controllers (RCX / NXT) to the competition area?
- No. Please carefully read
your FLL Coaches' Handbook, the challenge details, the FLL Rules and
the FAQ section.
- I need to help my team
during their pit time at a tournament. Do I need a consent form?
- Yes. Please read your Coaches'
Handbook. You may not participate without this completed form.
- Are T-Shirts available?
YES! We have several Cafepress stores with different designs
- Also custom Northern California
T-Shirts will be sold this year. All money raised will directly
support the Northern California FLL program.
- How can we contact other
local FLL coaches?
- If you are a member of the NCaFLL yahoogroup, you can send an
email to NCaFLL@yahoogroups.com
if you have an announcement or request you want other Northern California
FLL coaches to see.
- Also look on the FLL
Forum web site which opens typically in September for the season.
Find the Northern California discussion folder. Use can
use the discussion forum for contact other teams and coaches.