LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robot Inventor

LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor is allowed in FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge, as any official LEGO element is allowed. Please see the below FAQ for more information:

Is MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor allowed in FIRST LEGO League?

Yes, as any official LEGO element is allowed in FIRST LEGO League. MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor can be used in FIRST LEGO League Challenge as long as the robot is programmed to move autonomously and not remote controlled.

The SPIKETM Prime Expansion Set and Competition Ready Unit are specifically designed with FIRST LEGO League in mind, and the ideal combination for students and teacher who are new to robotics and in need of more formalized training. The final lesson of the SPIKE Prime Competition Ready Unit helps prepare students and teachers for the annual FIRST LEGO League Challenge Robot Game.

What is the recommended solution to compete in FIRST LEGO League Challenge with?
Teams can participate in FIRST LEGO League using just the SPIKE Prime Core Set. However, the SPIKE Prime Expansion Set provides builders with over 600 additional elements that are specifically selected for competitions. While the MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Set has more elements than the SPIKE Prime Core Set, these are included with the purpose of building the 5-in-1 models. When combined, SPIKE Primes’ core set plus expansion set include elements that are particularly useful for competitions. For example, large wheels for better grip, a force sensor for obstacle detection and large motors for greater power.

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TVA Grant Opened

The TVA Grant is now opened and is accepting applications for the 2020-21 FIRST Season

Team Eligibility:

  • All FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotic teams in the TVA Service Area are eligible for funding, which will cover the following for each program:
    • FIRST Robotics Competition Rookie team – $1,000 towards Registration fees
    • FIRST Tech Challenge – $306 Registration, shipping and tax
    • FIRST LEGO League Explore – $130 Registration, Inspire Set, tax and shipping
    • FIRST LEGO League Challenge – $363 Registration, Challenge Set, tax and shipping
    • FIRST Robotics Competition Veteran team – $500 towards Registration fees
  • Teams must begin the registration process with FIRST and hold a temporary team (if a Rookie team) or team number (Veteran teams), however, teams must NOT pay for registration as it will forfeit their TVA Grant. No exceptions, substitutions or refunds will be made.
  • TVA team grants are available on a first come, first served basis. Funds will be available until Dec 1, 2020 OR until funds for the grant have been utilized.

Next Steps:

  • All teams interested in receiving TVA funds must submit a very short online application to FIRST
  • FIRST will send grant information and the application link to all teams that received TVA funding last season and encourage them to apply for funds if they intend to participate this season.
  • We ask that Partners send the application link to any other teams that are eligible for TVA funds – new/rookie teams or returning teams that did not receive funding last season.
  • You may choose to post the TVA information and application link on your website or social media channels

TVA Grant Process

  • FIRST will review all grant requests.
  • FIRST will send the grant requests to Tennessee Valley Authority to verify the team’s location within their service area. This process usually takes 48 hours.
  • Once FIRST receives the approval back from Tennessee Valley Authority, teams can expect the grant funds to be available within 5 business days.
  • Teams should expect to receive 3 emails during the application process
    1. To confirm that they have successfully submitted the application
    2. To notify them of approval and application of funds
    3. Information about recognizing/thanking TVA and the use of the TVA logo.
  • Any teams that have already paid registration or are outside of the TVA services area will be referred back to the Partner.
  • Any questions regarding this process should be directed to Amanda Pham at apham@firstinspires.org.
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Upcoming webinar hosted by FIRST Education

Our FIRST Education team is hosting a free webinar for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST® Tech Challenge educators at 7 pm ET on October 21 – Hands-on STEM Learning in Varied Learning Environments. The panelists will discuss the resources FIRST has created for the season and how we are continuing to provide education opportunities for students in this time of uncertainty. Join us and share this event with the educators in your area.  

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Society for Information Management

For years SIM (Society for Information Management) has been working with Memphis FIRST FRC teams and our FLL Partner. Now SIM is going nation wide with a new National Alliance with FIRST. Read Below:

FIRST welcomes new Alliance: SIM Foundation
FIRST establishes valuable national Alliance relationships with a network of like-minded organizations that are committed to programming that ignites young minds and advocating for access to STEM education opportunities. We’re excited to announce the newest FIRST Alliance is SIM (Society for Information Management) Foundation. Welcome!

The new partnership will engage SIM members – a network of thousands of IT business leaders – as mentors, coaches, volunteers, and fundraisers for FIRST programs with the common goal of promoting STEM education to students, including girls and underrepresented groups. SIM Foundation has also named FIRST as the primary beneficiary of the upcoming SIM Foundation Virtual V.I.P. Networking Reception during SIM’s National Giveback Week on Friday, November 6. Thank you to the SIM Foundation for designating FIRST as the beneficiary for this event and joining us in this meaningful long-term partnership.
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Getting Started with FIRST LEGO League Challenge

The Robot Game

The Tournament

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FIRST LEGO League Challenge resources for a modified school experience

From FRIST HQ

During these uncertain and challenging times, we’re committed more than ever to supporting members of our community, like you, and providing every participant a valuable, enjoyable experience, regardless of learning environment.

To help you bring exciting STEM activities proven to build technical and holistic skills to your team, we’ve created resources you can use during the RePLAYSM season.FLL-Replay-wallpapers_desktop


Modification Guidance:
This modification guidance can help you engage students in the FIRST® experience. These suggestions and options are not prescriptive, and local health and safety regulations and guidance should precede any of the recommendations in the guide.

Digital Season Materials: Your FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge team registration includes digital access to season materials and resources through the FIRST Thinkscape Portal in your dashboard. In the portal, you’ll find the Team Meeting Guide, a static and interactive version of the Engineering Notebook, and more!

Additional Challenge Sets: To aid with remote participation this season, registered teams can order one additional RePLAY Challenge Set for $75. Applicable sales tax and shipping fees will be added to each order.

FIRST Professional Learning Community: This new forum is a resource for coaches, teachers, and other adults associated with registered teams and Class Pack sites to connect with each other, ask questions, and share resources and ideas about how FIRST can be run this season.

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Lego Rebuild the World

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EV3 Classroom App now available in the Windows 10 App Store

Lego is pleased to announce that the Scratch-based EV3 Classroom App is now available for download in the Windows 10 App Store. This app enables teams to code with the popular vertical programming language based on Scratch. EV3 Classroom is supported throughout the Engineering Notebook and Team Meeting Guide, and provides an intuitive and efficient coding experience.

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2021 Championships and how it affects West TN

As announced by FIRST HQ today, the two World Championships have been moved to Mid July (Houston) and Early August (Detroit).

What does this mean for West TN? Well it means we will also be moving events to latter in the season to allow teams more time to prepare given the extra burdens placed on teams due to Covid 19.

West TN FLL Challenge and Explore will be having their Remote Event(s) in Feb and March. FTC TN Championship will be latter in the season (probably a Remote Event – Date TBD). We have yet to hear about FRC plans (but this is to be expected since FRC kickoff is not for some time yet).

Stay tuned to this website for more news on FIRST Events for teams in West TN.

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New FIRST® @ Home Curriculum

Whether in the classroom or at home learning, continue to engage students in STEM learning, skill development, and FUN with a 12 session learning series for teachers, parents, and coaches created by FIRST Education. These free and flexible PreK-12 STEM activities are available for download now.  

There is a different curriculum targeting PreK-1, 2-4, 4-8 and 7-12 grades.

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