Robot Game Updates/That’s a Bright Idea/Rockwell Automation Video Contest Deadline Extended/Ask an Expert/Coach Tip of the Week

Robot Game Updates – Be prepared for your tournament!
There are several new Robot Game updates available at:

That’s a Bright Idea!
Has your team come up with a great idea through their research for the Project, and are thinking about turning their idea into a product? This is the time to start thinking about protecting your idea through a patent. Learn more about what patents are and how to apply for one by going to our Patent Resources page:

Engineering Our Future video contest by FLL Global Sponsor, Rockwell Automation
FIRST teams participating in FIRST LEGO League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) are eligible to enter the Rockwell Automation “Engineering Our Future” video contest. Create and submit a 60 seconds or less video with the answer to the question: “What could your team engineer that would have a positive impact on your community and our world?” Rockwell Automation will award up to $10,000 in team grants.  For more information, please go to

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Monday, November 11, 2014.

Ask an Expert
Thank you to all teams who submitted questions for our volunteer topic experts. The experts tried to answer as many questions as they could.  Find the answers here: We will continue to post additional answers as we receive them. We apologize for the delays in the pilot year of this opportunity. Remember that the expert answers should only supplement your team’s independent research – not replace it.

Coach Tip of the Week
This week’s Coach Tip comes from a coach in the Washington, DC area.
“(My team) realized early on that the competition wasn’t really against the other teams: it’s against themselves and their robot. So they never really cared how other teams did, just whether THEY felt that THEY’D done their best. Essentially, the FLL Challenge is a mountain that nobody is supposed to climb all the way. Some teams are GT 8th graders with no extracurriculars who live in the same neighborhood and spend many, many hours every day; other teams are full of busy 5th graders who meet once a week for an hour and everything in between.
So sure, there might be some “keener” team at a tournament clicking off high table scores. But that’s only 25% of the overall evaluation. I’ve seen teams advance to State who did poorly on the table; I’ve seen teams NOT advance who did GREAT on the table.
I have yet to see a team NOT have fun at a tournament. I like to tell the story of having only ever seen ONE kid crying in eleven years of coaching and judging, and there was clearly a lot more going on there than just unhappiness over performance. Compare that to ANY sport your kids have participated in.
So…worry not. Tell them to do their best, and enjoy the ride. And when they get together this week and complain that “NOTHING IS WORKING AND WE AREN’T READY AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO THERE’S NO POINT…” -- deep breath, help them figure out what DOES work, and don’t even let them THINK about not coming. They’ll have a blast!”