It’s starting to look like I am going to lead a FIRST Lego League team this fall. I have experience with activities about robotics, but I have never been part of any FLL challenge, so I thought I’d start by gathering some resources to put myself in context.
What I am mostly interested in are experiences and practical information than I can apply when the time comes: how the sessions with the kids are, what details I need to consider, the main mistakes to avoid, and so on. I know the general information about the program because I attended some ORTOP webinars in July.
The Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTOP) is recognized as Oregon’s longest running continuum of K-12th grade STEM focused, robotics programs. ORTOP is a trusted non-profit, with more than 18 years of experience implementing and showing successful impact over all FIRST programs in Oregon. To accomplish its statewide non-profit mission, ORTOP partners with FIRST, an internationally recognized educational foundation as it distributes coach, teacher, and team training programs, hosts tournaments and provides funding support to the most disadvantaged and under-resourced communities and need. These programs are FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition.
There are some resources that have already helped me so far. The first of them is a blog post written by Ruth Ferland: My Experience Starting a FIRST LEGO League Jr. Team. Ruth has been leading teams for the last couple of years. She explains her experience and shares several links to resources that are going to help me a lot.
Another useful resource is the Youtube channel LEGO Robotics Mr. Hino. Mr. Hino has ten years of experience coaching FLL teams, and some of his videos are relevant for what I am looking for at the moment (some others will for sure help me later).
Also, I have started to take a look at the FIRST Curriculum for Educators. The resources are divided by age, and I see it connects the topic with the NGSS standards. I still need to look further into that one.
It’s just three resources that are helping me know where to start and how to move forward from there. We’ll see where all of it takes the team that I will hopefully be part of very soon.