FIRST LEGO League
SDRA is the umbrella group that provides a wonderful competition opporutnity for kids called FIRST LEGO League (FLL). The best way to summarize FLL is to say that it is a robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds, which is designed to get children excited about science and technology -- and teach them valuable employment and life skills. FLL can be used in a classroom setting but is not solely designed for this purpose. Teams, composed of up to ten kids with at least two adult coaches, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome. In SD, most of our coaches are parents.
Contrary to popular belief, our coaches DO NOT need any technical experience. In FLL, the children do the work! And the work is programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project, all while being guided by the FLL Core Values. These three elements - the Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core Values - make up what we call our yearly Challenge. Like any other organized “sport”, teams also fundraise, create a team identity, and go on field trips.
Groups form on their own, SDRA does not hold a list of open teams or of families looking for teams. The best way to get involved is to coach, or find an adult willing to coach. There are always enough kids, never enough coaches! Our how to start guide will help you in the process of finding or starting a team. You can also learn more about the FIRST family of programs (Jr.FLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC) at usfirst.org