Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
For the finale, TJ organized the SNHMA Jr. FIRST LEGO League Exhibition at the school on December 15th. To top the season off, Ms. Dana Chism, Jr. FLL Global Program Manager was the "celebrity" reviewer for the day. Thanks Ms. Chism!
Friday, December 10, 2010
We were completely surprised because we were only thinking about giving an award (see post below) and were not thinking of receiving one! We have devoted collectively almost 2000 hours to helping new teams and promoting FLL in the past year and we only wish we had more time! (click image below for full story.)
We were thrilled to see so many of the teams we have helped at the tournament and want to say congratulations to all with high 5's to some of the teams we mentored this year: Holy Cow for their second place Presentation Award, Pantocraters for their Rookie Award, Sapientia Venatores for their first place Teamwork Award, and the Black Holes for their awesome fourth place ranking on the table!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
What a great time we had at the NH State FLL Championship Tournament! We slept in (we got to the tournament at the crack of 9 a.m.) since we weren't competing, gathered our camera equipment, and once we were at the tournament, we got to work on shooting the footage for our new project video! So many people came up to us to say hi and to say thanks for all the support, mentoring and training we have provided to them over the years.
The Inventioneers Big Idea Patent Scholarship Trophy
Then it was on to the Inventioneers Big Idea Patent Scholarship Award. We took the floor with our partner Attorney Vern Maine to present the award. We had an awesome trophy made which we customized - it was cool (see photo above). Congratulations to the winners - the Lego Mind Freaks from Manchester! They have a cool heart monitor device which they will be able to obtain a provisional patent on with the help of Attorney Maine and his staff. They were ecstatic and we were so happy to make this scholarship possible. Stay tuned for more on patent scholarships for next season! (click image below for the whole story)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Our robot missions will work 5 times in a row one day and then the next day will not work! It is very frustrating to us. How can we get our robot to perform more consistently?
Compiled from multiple teams from NH, VA and CA.
Robot reliability is a challenge every team faces - both veteran and rookie. It's one of the reasons coaches are tempted to provide too much "help" to the team - it can be so frustrating. There is only one secret to reliability. Here it is . . .
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
1. robot performance consistency
2. teamwork activity tips
3. 3 important things to cover in research judging
4. 3 important things to cover in technical judging
Let us know if you want more information in these areas by voting in our poll in the right hand column!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Many teams are down to the wire now with qualifiers on Saturday. Here are some last minute pointers for rookies (and others!):
For teamwork judging - have fun, encourage each other, make sure everyone gets a chance to share their ideas either before you start the activity or while you are completing the task. If the teamwork activity is fun - laugh, be yourselves. Make sure the judges know some of the ways you worked on teamwork over the season. Think of the teamwork challenges your team faced early in the season, then remember how you built your team spirit. Bring your funny hats, smile.
For the competition table - don't bring your funny hat if you are going to be a human player unless it stays on really well and won't get in your way. Take off any extra buttons or beads you've collected. You don't want anything to hang over the table or to interfere with mission models or your robot's run. If you are not running the robot, cheer both teams on - remember, the other team is not your opponent. They are kids just like you, trying their hardest just like you are.
For technical judging - show off your robot with pride - you are the experts on your design. Choose the mission you want to demonstrate before you get to the judging session. Your team members should point out favorite features to the judges, talk about how you improved on your ideas over the season. Smile, even if your robot doesn't have its best run, don't be upset, just focus on the positive.
For research judging - try to memorize your presentation lines - it can be a lot of work but it lets you make eye contact with the judges during the session. If you don't have time to completely memorize, look up at the judges at least once during your part, it will help them feel drawn into your presentation. In the Q and A, tell the judges about the most interesting parts of your project, for example, your experts, why you picked your topic, and if you have them, tell the judges about the next steps you have planned for your solution, etc. Listen carefully to their questions and make sure you answer the question asked. Don't forget to have your resource list in hand to show the judges all the materials, websites, and experts you used to complete your amazing project. Be enthusiastic, passionate and confident - remember, you are the experts on your project
Sunday, November 14, 2010
If you are a rookie team, you are the expert on your research project, your robot, and how you developed your teamwork skills. What you are not an expert at is the tournament experience, especially judging sessions. That's where our newsletter comes in.
We've had such a great season mentoring rookie teams (we've helped about 30 teams so far!). We just heard from one team this morning that they took first place in research yesterday and will be going on to the state tournament! They found the Tournament Newsletter invaluable.
How about you? If you would like a copy of our newsletter, email us at TheInventioneers@yahoo.com and we'll be happy to send you a copy ASAP!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
The Body Forward Rubrics are a helpful guide for your team to make sure you are on track in all areas of FLL. Periodically reviewing the rubrics can help your team members gauge your team's progress! Since every team member doesn't have a copy of the Coaches' Handbook (the rubrics are in the back of the book), have members download the rubrics here: Body Forward Rubrics, 2010 and review them for homework. If your team members are young, have their parents go over the rubrics with them. Then, in your team meeting, review everyone's ideas about how the team is progressing according to the rubrics.
Team members should check the project rubrics to make sure they have covered all areas the judges will be evaluating. If you need to change any part of your project or presentation, it's easier to do that now than later!
For technical rubrics, review and make sure your team understands them and is prepared to answer any judging questions based on those rubrics. For teamwork, use the rubrics to make sure your team-building efforts are on track!
Live, Laugh, LEGO!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Do you just lay the mat down on the table or do you adhere it in some way?
Rookie team in MA
Do not attach your mat to your table. At your tournament, mats will not be adhered to the table in any way. They may have just been rolled out the day of your tournament and may still have ripples in them and the ends may be curled up a little (which can be a surprise to rookie teams). Also, be aware that tournament tables (all tables, in reality) are often slightly different sizes, may not be level, may have knots and bumps under the surface or along sidewalls, etc. This is one of the main things new teams may not be thinking about. The robot can be affected by table surface differences - not foam v. plywood but any table to any other table.
One thing we encourage teams to do is . . .
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We had an awesome time in DC where we presented our ABCs of FLL workshop to close to 150 people. One new team even formed that day even though 99% of those attending were already on teams! Thanks so much to DC FIRST and the YMCA National Capital!
We met lots of great rookie teams who we plan to stay in touch with for the Body Forward season. We all had fun - which is one of our team's favorite FLL Core Values!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
We are jumping for joy outside the USPTO after a fun visit with a trademark attorney and the USPTO Director of Public Affairs. We saw the earliest patents and trademarks and did some patent searches of our own. It was all right up our alley since we're working on our utility patent now!
FIRST tweeted about our visit:http://twitter.com/firstlegoleague/status/26090813736
Friday, September 24, 2010
Lots of teams are building our STOW-or-GO™ Home Practice Table this season so we thought since we're getting so many requests, we'd post the latest instructions here on our blog. Click the images below to see the documents and make sure you check out all of them before you start building. Have a great season and email us to let us know if you are using the STOW-or-GO™!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
From your team's list, create a teamwork pledge that all team members sign to reinforce their commitment and accountability to each other. Click below to see an example of a teamwork pledge we customized for our team.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Here's another activity to have in your toolkit for your rookie season. Need something fun for your next team meeting? Study the names of LEGO parts (use the list on page 2 of the puzzle, which also includes the answer key) and then give your team page one of the
LEGO Parts Word Search - New. Click the image below for a free download. Have FUN!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
These things all build teamwork and great team spirit. You'll be ahead of other new teams if your team has already figured out how to work well together.
If you do these things in your team shirts, someone will be bound to ask what group you're with and the team can get practice speaking about FLL and what your team is working on!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Do you have a child, age 9-14, who is a LEGO fanatic? Then don’t miss this great FREE workshop for newcomers to the exciting world of FIRST LEGO League* (FLL). We're offering our ABCs of FLL workshop again this year on Thursday, August 19th from 6-8:30 p.m. We can't wait to share our insider tips on how to have a great rookie season and how to build a strong team.
The ABC's of FLL and is open to all kids and their parents who are considering participating in FLL for the first time. All areas of the program will be covered from forming/finding teams to all the ins-and-outs of the FLL program. Ideas for preparing for competitions and an overview of what to expect in tournament judging sessions. Robot demonstrations, hands-on activities and a special session for coaches round out the workshop. We had over 100 participants last year and an amazing number of those people we able to find or form new teams last season, some on the very night of the workshop!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
We're sharing another one of our top ten teamwork game resources. We call it the Inventioneers Stress Buster Jar. We use these activities at our meetings when we're starting to get tired, we need to reach consensus as a team and need to get the creativity going, or when we have a little frustration with the robot!
Here's how it works. Find a jar or cup (plastic, preferably). Print out the activity sheets: click here. Cut the strips apart, fold and put in the jar. Then just have team members pull one out as needed! Remember, be true to the FLL Core Values - HAVE FUN!!!
Have your team members come up with their own "Stress Busters" and send them to TheInventioneers@yahoo.com and we'll post them here to share with the FLL community!
Hey - maybe your coaches and parents can use the stress jar at work!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
We'll be featuring our Smart Move robot which proved it could score a perfect 400 in 91 seconds at the World Festival last month! Our coach, Lisa Evarts, will be sharing some great tips for rookie teams including how to avoid the major pitfalls faced by teams in their first season. We'll have handouts and other resources available. You can also sign up for our new team mentoring program to get ongoing help through the FLL season!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
We are so excited to share our latest news - on Saturday, April 17, 2010, the Inventioneers became the FLL World Champions! It is a dream come true for our team! Our robot was awesome on the competition tables scoring perfect 400's in three out of four rounds and when speed was the goal, our robot scored a perfect 400 in 91 seconds - faster than any other robot at the competition!
We'll be sharing more at our other blog: www.TheInventioneersOnTheRoad.blogspot.com over the next few days. It's been so busy and exciting and exhausting that we just haven't had time to post anything.
We want to thank all of our supporters and our sponsors - thank you for believing in us!!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Two sets of funny costume pieces like hats, scarves, capes, over sized shirts, baggie pants, gloves, etc.
Game set up:
Make a starting line and 30 feet away make another line. Divide the costumes into 2 equal piles at the starting line.
Playing the game:
Divide the people into 2 equal teams. Each team begins at the starting line behind a costume pile. The first person from each team quickly puts on all the costumes in his pile, runs to the other line, runs back to the starting line, and takes off the costumes. The next person on his team does the same thing until everyone on the team has a turn. The team that finishes first is the winner.
This is a fun teamwork game or play it with teams you mentor.
1c butter, melted
2t baking powder
2c brown sugar
1c chocolate chips
Mix butter and sugar. Add baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Add flour. Whisk eggs and add. Add chips. Pour into greased 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees f 25-30 minutes(center will be gooey).
Saturday, April 10, 2010
We're spending lots of time at our new blog www.TheInventioneersOnTheRoad.blogspot.com but we don't want to get behind on this one! We're getting ready to speak at the New Hampshire Traffic Safety Conference on April 27th! We were invited to share our Don't DUIT Campaign and our SMARTwheel with traffic safety professionals from around New England! Check out the brochure:
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Set up some robot design/build sessions to improve your team's skills in those areas. If you have a good builder on your team, this is a great way for him/her to share those skills. If you need some outside help, you can contact a veteran team – the Inventioneers are always available for this!
Check your local bookstore or the web for books about NXT robots. We like Eric Wang’s book Engineering with LEGO Bricks and Robolab (http://www.collegehousebooks.com/lego_bricks_3.htm ). Even if you are not using Robolab software (this is one of the two programming languages permitted by FLL – the other is the software that comes with the Mindstorms kit - NXT G. - we have 8 years of experience using Robolab and are happy to provide training workshops), the book has some good building exercises to try.
Also, check out internet sources for other building tips. Check out Youtube videos of other teams and other year’s challenges. These cool robots might spark creative ideas in your team.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Design some mini challenges for your team. Using newsprint or a big sheet of poster board, use wide tip markers, draw a playing field featuring lines of different widths and colors and other “landmarks” on your customized “mat”. Make your own field elements. These don’t have to be made out of LEGOs for your custom mini challenges (though as we all know, only LEGO parts may be used for FLL) – you can use marbles as retrievables (to bring back to base) or deliverables (to deliver to a specified place on your mat) or even just as obstacles. Use your imagination. Break up your team into two teams, if you can, and use the same base robot with each “team” designing their own attachments and add-ons. Be creative, try something wacky!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Here's another fun game to play:
Everyone tries to roll as fast as they can so they can stop the person with the pen from writing too much and of course in the meantime, the person with the pen is trying write as quickly as possible. So this game is really fast and sometimes you do not get to write anything at all even though you rolled a 3 or 6 because the person after you takes the pen from you and you cannot hold on to it! Once you play this game you will understand why it is called the Manners Game!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
We were busy Saturday, March 13th (with Ms. Nancy Lane, FIRST Place coordinator), helping kids get excited about FLL, Jr. FLL, and FIRST Place Summer Camps at the annual Parenting NH Summer Camp Expo. Over 200 people came by to talk to us and of course the kids couldn't wait to try the robot! We saw lots of future engineers! We had an awesome day and we hope to see lots of the kids this summer.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
David Price, emcee extraordinaire, invited us down to the playing field area to introduce us to the entire crowd as the four time NH State Champion FLL team and we took the opportunity to present outgoing FLL Operational Partner, Ms. Kerry Creeden (who also co-chairs the GSR event!) with a token of our appreciation for the many years she has unselfishly devoted to FLL in New Hampshire. She's awesome!
Thanks to Ms. Nancy Lane of FIRST Place for inviting us to team up with her for this event! We had tons of interest in our program for helping people find and form teams - FLL TeamMatch Forum! If you are interested in this service, email us at TheInventioneers@yahoo.com so we can send you an invitation. More on TeamMatch coming up soon! Check out our slide show from the day's activity:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wow- that’s cool. Your team could be identifying and meeting experts in the biomedical field, planning field trips and searching out some other good resources, too! You can have a research meeting and the team can assign members some homework on the new challenge! Then everyone reports back to share their ideas. By working on some of the research ahead of time, you get ahead of the curve for September and it helps you get excited about the research topic!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Start a website to help people learn more about your team. You can share your projects on your website, too! It also can be a way to help people contact you and can even help with fundraising. Your website can be free – Google has free websites and there are lots of other free sites, too. Websites designed by kids are always just a little more creative (sorry, our own bias), so have fun (final review by a coach is required before posting the site, though).
You can post team updates, videos, and introduce your team members. Remember to keep privacy in mind - we list team members' first names only. Check out our website at http://www.theinventioneers.com/!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
FIRST is doing a cool new thing on YouTube! They are asking for video submissions for all parts of FLL. They are starting with project videos and tournament videos. FIRST's FLL Program Manager, Courtney Hoppe, and yours truly, the Inventioneers appear in the
Call for Tournament Videos clip (click here)!
FLL newcomers and rookie teams, check out the project videos and see the amazing range of creativity there is in the FLL community (click here).The clips are fun to watch but keep your team thinking outside the box and put your own magic into your research presentation. Remember, no team is as creative as yours!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
As many of you know,right now our team is getting ready to compete in the World Festival in Atlanta, Georgia! We are so excited to be retourning to the Georgia Dome to compete with FLL teams from around the globe! Here are some of the ways we are preparing:
* Building up our teamwork skills though games, snacks, and just having FUN
* Perfecting our robot and then running lots of reliability testing!
* Following through on our research down at MIT
* Spreading our Don't DUIT campaign to even more people
* Telling lots people about FLL
Those are lots of ways how we are preparing to compete at the World Festival but there is one last thing to do, start a packing list! =)
Monday, February 1, 2010
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 c sugar mixed
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
If you are considering starting an FLL team, get started now instead of waiting until August or September. As a rookie team, look for off-season events and tournaments for your team participate in. The Inventioneers will be hosting an off-season tournament for new rookie teams and are willing to help teams organize scrimmages for fun and experience.
In this post, we're highlighting a new team that started in January 2010. Join us in welcoming the Mount Zion Christian School team to the FLL family! They have been meeting since the beginning of the year and are gearing up for our off-season tournament. We joined them for a team meeting to introduce them to FLL and to share our personal recommendations for a successful season with them. They are excited and can't wait to get to the robot!
Monday, January 25, 2010
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup chopped nuts or raisins(optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups mashed bananas (about 5 medium)
1 cup apple juice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Everyone stands in a circle and grabs hands. You cannot take the hands of the people next to you nor can you hold onto both of the same person's hands. Once everyone is holding two hands, the object of the game is to untangle yourselves without letting go of anyone's hands. It usually takes a while and actually sometimes it is impossible but it is a lot of fun! Check out our slide show below to see how the Human Knot is played!
Friday, January 15, 2010
Plan to attend another FIRST event as a team. The high school FIRST Robotics Competition, called FRC, is fun to watch especially if you understand the game – check it out at FRC Regional Events. Here in NH, the FRC tournament, the BAE Granite State Regional, will be held at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester from March 4-6 with the finals on March 6th. Check out this link to see an animation of this year’s FRC soccer-type game “Breakaway”.
You can also check out another FIRST program called FIRST Tech Challenge or FTC, also for high school students. Check out the 2009-10 game “Hot Shot!”. The closest tournament to us in NH is the Massachusetts FTC Championship Tournament to be held February 27, 2010 in Palmer, MA. Check out events near you at FTC Events and click on the box next to FTC and then select your area.