What is the North Pacific Regional Robotics Challenge?

The challenge is part of FIRST, a nationwide program founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires young people to be interested and participate in science and technology. FIRST coordinates with LEGO to offer FIRST LEGO Leagues (www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll) for students in grades K through 8 nationwide.

The Adventist Robotics League (ARL) (www.adventistroboticsleague.net) also partners with FIRST, operating robotics challenges nationwide for Adventist schools and organizations. Walla Walla University hosts the North Pacific Regional Robotics Challenge every spring for ARL teams.

Junior FIRST LEGO teams (grades K through 3) (http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/jr.fll/start-a-team) They’ll use LEGO bricks and moving parts to build a model that illustrates their ideas. Finally, they’ll create a “Show-Me” poster depicting their research and showing what they’ve learned.

FIRST LEGO teams (grades 4 through 8) (http://www.firstlegoleague.org/challenge/startateam) will build an autonomous robot that will complete pre-designed missions. They will also analyze, research and invent a solution for a given assignment. Finally, they will present their solution to a panel of judges.

The challenge is not just about building with LEGOs and competing with robots. Teams must be able to:

  1. Identify a problem.
  2. Create solutions for the problem.
  3. Share their information with others.

Who can participate?

Junior FIRST LEGO teams (students in grades K through 3) and FIRST LEGO teams (students in grades 4 through 8) may participate in the challenge under the supervision of a team coach or mentor. Teachers, parents, Pathfinder leaders, after-school program leaders and others can start and mentor teams for participation in the North Pacific Regional Robotics Challenge.

Teams may have from three to 10 members.

What materials will our team need?

Junior FIRST LEGO League teams will need:

  • Miscellaneous LEGO parts and materials.
  • Poster materials (paper, markers, glue, tape, photos, etc.).
  • Learning and project development space.
  • Storage for kits and supplies.

FIRST LEGO League teams will need:

  • Computers with appropriate Operating System (preferably a laptop), USB port and access to the Internet.
  • Project table (4x8-foot level table, reusable every year).
  • Space to meet that can accommodate the table and construction space.
  • Storage for kits and supplies.

How much will it cost?

If an FLL team is to be organized for the first time, the cost for the robot, project kit and registration will be approximately $800. Expenses (including registration) for subsequent years will be around $400. T-shirts, team buttons, travel and lodging for the WWU Challenge, and other promotional materials are not included in the estimates above.

How do I register?

Go to www.adventistroboticsleague.net to find FLL and http://www3.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/jr.fll/registration  for JFLL registration links. Have a team name and credit card handy (registration fee of $200 per team). Registrants will receive a coach’s manual, a CD, and other instructional materials as part of the registration. An e-mail address will be required for registration.

Then, you must alert the university of your intention to participate in the April event by applying for the North Pacific Regional Robotics Challenge at Walla Walla University no later than December 31.  A registration form will be sent to those who apply and are accepted. Registration spreadsheets must be returned no later than February 28.  Space is limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged.

Helpful resources

About this year’s project (www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll).

Adventist Robotics League challenges and registration for the April event (www.adventistroboticsleague.net).

E-mail questions about the April 14 challenge at Walla Walla University (lego@wallawalla.edu).

Introducing students to science concepts through design-based LEGO projects (http://www.legoengineering.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92&Itemid=144).

The Robotics Academy’s curriculum (http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/roboticscurriculum/) for elementary to pre-college students.

Page maintained by Renee Mackin
Last update on January 21, 2014