Monday, March 22, 2010

Inventioneers Top 10 Tips for the Off-Season

Tip #7

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

Top 10 Team-Building Tips - Games

We love to share good ideas with other teams and fun games are at the top of our list. We think all teams should include games as part of team meetings to keep energized and of course to have FUN! Don't forget to let us know what you think at
Here's another fun game to play:

The Manners Game
Sitting around a table, everyone starts with a piece of paper. The goal of this game is to write from 1 all the way up to 100 on your paper. This may sound simple at first but here is the catch, there is only one pen for everyone! So you begin with someone rolling a pair of dice and if that person gets a 3 or a 6 then he/she get to take the pen, which starts in the center of the table, and start writing their numbers. Immediately after that person has rolled, the next person takes the dice and rolls and if he rolls a 3 or 6 he grabs the pen (politely!) and starts writing. This keeps going until someone finishes writing their numbers. But if someone rolls anything other than 3 or 6 he/she does not get to take the pen and the the dice are handed off to the next person.

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

Spreading FLL and Jr. FLL around NH!

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

The Inventioneers Top 10 Tips for the FLL Off-Season

Tip #6

Focus on learning all the ins and outs of sensors. Design a basic robot and attach two light sensors, two touch sensors and an ultrasonic sensor (currently the allowable sensors plus the rotation sensors embedded in the motors). Using software, design a line follow program, test out your light sensors, experiment with them, look for line follow programming stubs online, download them and try them out. Put your own twist on them. If you are using Robolab software, contact us at with programming questions.

Find ways to use your touch sensors - put one on the front of your robot, one on the back, try one on an arm attachment - be creative and put them to the test. See how you could use your ultrasonic sensor - where does it work best? Now is the time to learn and have fun, when the pressure is off. Make sure your whole team learns how to maximize the use of these tools. Sensors are your friends!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fun at the Regional FRC Competition

Wow, what a great day we had at the 2010 Granite State Regional (GSR) FRC event! Hundreds of kids and their parents who had never heard of FLL and Jr. FLL came to our demo table to see an FLL robot up close and hands-on! We gave out almost four hundred of our Don't DUIT buttons and talked to many others to spread the word about the dangers of DUIT - Driving Under the Influence of Texting.

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 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

Getting Ready for the FLL World Festival

We've been working hard getting our team ready to compete in the FLL World Festival coming up in April. We took a look back at the NH State FLL Tournament and put together a little video. We'll keep you posted on how we prepare for tournaments so keep checking in!