Quick links to help you navigate...
- Preparation (Coaches' Handbook, Education, Products, Table Constructions, Storage, Ask An Expert Webinars, Coach Calls, Fundraising, Brainstorming)
- Project (How-To videos, Blog posts)
- Robot Game (Building, Programming, Materials in Support of the Classroom)
- Events (What to Bring)
- Engineering & Career Resources
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TRASH TREK Coaches' Handbook, version 2015
The Coaches’ Handbook is your guide to the season. It provides information and guidance to make your first (and second, third, fourth…) season a success.
Choose the download that is right for your device:
Coaches Handbook (PDF - for computer, Kindle, etc.)
Coaches Handbook (ePub - for e-readers such as Android devices, iPad, Nook, etc.)
Access the 2015 FIRST LEGO League Coaches' Handbook, the 2015 TRASH TREK Challenge, and Challenge Updates.
FIRST Educational Standards Alignment Report
Transforming Teaching: FIRST LEGO League as a Classroom Resource for 21st Century Learning
Transforming Teaching - FIRST LEGO League documentary, video series (supplement to the booklet)
FIRST has completed an external analysis and mapping of all FIRST Programs to 3 sets of educational standards: Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills. In an effort to increase the usefulness of the standards alignment maps, they are arranged by program and grade level.
Examplars that describe how and to what extent FIRST programs meet each standard are provided for each indicator/skill in the Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Skills and for each Performance Expectation in the Next Generation Science Standards.
Full alignment (clearly addresses a standard) is designated by a green indicator. Partial alignment (the potential to address as part of the program either by actions the coach/mentor takes when working with the students or by conditions established by the program for that given year), is noted by a yellow indicator.
Video tutorials on all the products sold through the team registration system (US/Canadian teams)
Official table building instructions
Looking for a lighweight, portable table option? The Inventioneers, created the STOW-or-GO Practice Table
Storage During Competition
Helpful option for object storage during competition. Designed by team Brainstorm
Ask An Expert Webinars
Teams will have the chance to hear from subject matter experts in both the Challenge theme and taking products to market. Webinars will be scheduled in a variety of time zones to accommodate teams globally, and will be recorded for those who cannot attend to review later.
- Ask an Expert: New Coach Orientation
Just getting started in FIRST LEGO League and not sure where to begin? Or are you considering starting your first team? Veteran coach Dan Hughes will walk you through what you need to know to get started.
Watch recorded presentation here.
Watch question-and-answer portion here.
- Ask an Expert: Programming and Team Management
Lee Magpili designs the FIRST LEGO League models, is a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Designer, EV3 programmer and an experienced FLL coach. Rookie coaches -- bring your questions on general team support and programming. 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, July 15.
Watch the recorded session here.
- Ask an Expert: Captain Planet Foundation's Leesa Carter Jones
Leesa Carter-Jones, Executive Director of the Captain Planet Foundation, helped shape this year's Challenge as part of the Challenge Advisory Team. Hear her perspective on why this Challenge topic is important and get some ideas to begin exploring your Project. 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, August 5.
Watch the recorded session here.
- Ask an Expert: Innovation and Protecting Your Ideas
Join U.S. Patent and Trademark staff Tanaga Boozer and Jerry Lorengo in a discussion of what makes an idea innovative -- and how to protect your Project idea. 1 p.m. ET Wednesday, September 9. Register here.
- Ask an Expert: Programming and Team Management
Lee Magpili designs the FIRST LEGO League models, is a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Designer, EV3 programmer and an experienced FLL coach. Rookie coaches -- bring your questions on general team support and programming. 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, September 16. Register here.
- Ask an Expert: Incorporating Core Values into Your Meetings Join Innovation Ambassadors Mann Master Builders as they share their best practices for incorporating the Core Values into your team meetings. 5 p.m. ET Monday, September 28. Register here.
- Ask an Expert: The Team Perspective on Judging
Gearing up for your first event? Join FLL Global Judge Advisor Skip Gridley and FLL Project Manager Jinnel Choiniere on a quick overview of what to expect from your event judging. 7 p.m. ET Wednesday, Oct. 7. Register here.
- ldraw.org - Open standard for LEGO CAD programs that allow the user to create virtual LEGO models and scenes.
- brickplayer.com - Private, independent website featuring LEGO sculptures, mosaics, news, reviews, and building tips & tricks.
- brickjournal.com - BrickJournal is a magazine that spotlights the many aspects of the LEGO Community.
- brickshelf.com - Cool LEGO building stuff.
- peeron.com - More cool LEGO stuff, including a list of parts numbers and names; color chart, sets, building instructions
- classic-castle.com - For LEGO castle aficionados
- bricklink.com - Premium venue for individuals and businesses from all around the world to buy and sell new, used and vintage LEGO
- brothers-brick.com - The Brothers Brick is a LEGO blog for adult fans of LEGO
- lugnet.com - International LEGO Users Group Network, a global community of LEGO enthusiasts.
- EV3 Programming Video Tutorials - Discover how LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 can quickly revolutionise learning and deliver outstanding lessons throughout your school.
- Educational Robots for Absolute Beginners - Designed for K-12 teachers, but free and open to all who are interested, these two self-paced online courses (one covering the EV3 and the other the NXT) teach the fundamentals of LEGO robot programming and were designed specifically to introduce LEGO robotics to teachers and prospective or beginning FLL coaches. No prior background in programming or robotics is necessary. Participants who complete a set of five robot programming projects can earn a certificate of completion.
- EV3 Programming Tutorial
- NXT Programming Tutorial - Downloadable, excellent introductory and advanced programming tutorials for NXT. Provides step-by-step guidance and explanations of the skills needed to create simple and more advanced NXT-G robot code.
- Fundamentals of NXT-G Programming - A free, self-paced introductory programming course designed to cover the fundamentals of NXT-G programming. Students have the ability to earn Badges to represent their accomplishments. There is also an optional cumulative exam that lets students earn an "NXT-G Programming Fundamentals" badge.
- NXT Programming for Beginners - courtesy of Neil Rosenberg, Excellent resource for all levels of NXT users.
- nxtprograms.com - Step-by-step instructions to build & program robots to do various simple tasks
- NXTLOG - from LEGO.com, Share and archive your LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT projects.
Materials in Support of the Classroom
- GEAR-Tech-21- Includes six to nine activity modules introducing robot design, building and programming for the LEGO NXT
- Carnegie Mellon- Comprehensive FIRST LEGO League robotics and engineering resources can be found at the Robotics Academy site. The Robotics Academy also offers free online training and access to free materials for students who are members of the Robotics Academy’s Computer Science Student Network ( CS2N). The online trainings cover everything that teams need to know to be successful at programming their FLL robots. The Robotics Academy also offers free training for TETRIX robots.
- NASA Educational Robotics Matrix This is a list of robotics and engineering educational materials, collected by NASA. Not all of the materials here apply to FIRST LEGO League.
- Tufts Center for Engineering Educational Outreach - Encyclopedia of LEGO part names and uses, building and programming hints, and physics concepts. Also, about 40 classroom activities and ideas using LEGO elements and ROBOLAB to help teach subjects, from science and engineering to reading and art, are available for download. Another database of activities is below under LEGO Invent & Investigate Database.
- Trifolioum Gears Lesson - A lesson plan about gear types and uses using LEGO gears to illustrate. Introduction to gears lesson.
- How Stuff Works - Explanations of how things work. It is not a curricula, and not specific to FIRST LEGO League, but has very good explanations of general engineering concepts. For example, How Gears Work, How Gear Ratios Work, and How Differentials Work.
What to Bring to an Event:
- Robot and attachments
- Parts kit
- Print out of programs and robot specification page
- Materials, props, and equipment needed for Project presentation
- Laptop computer with batteries and/or AC adaptor, extra batteries, extension cords
- Team scrapbook
- Team banner, posters, or other decorations for pit space
- Snacks and drinks
- Storage box for personal items
- USB cable or IR tower
- Team introduction page
- Fun, inexpensive gifts to share with other teams (pins, hats, personalized, team playing cards)
Team Profile Sheet
Some regions refer to these as Team Introduction, Team Profile or Team Information Pages; others prefer to use their own form. As each region determines if/how this form will be used (for example they may collect in advance via email or ask you to bring multiple copies to provide directly to the judges), please check with your local event organizer if you have any questions regarding plans for use in your area.
Engineering & Career Resources
Our forums are a place for the FIRST
LEGO League community to talk to each other – teams, coaches, volunteers, parents, whomever! This is NOT where official information is dispensed about the program, but it’s a great way to find other teams or get some advice. Get started today!
Note: None of the websites listed above are affiliated with or sponsored by the LEGO Group.