HMS Robotics Team


Calling Interested HMS Students and Parent-Coaches

The FIRST® LEGO® League, created through a partnership between FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO Group, inspires future scientists and engineers. HMS is calling for any interested student to form a team as we enter our second season.

With adult Coaches to guide them, FIRST® LEGO® League teams apply science, engineering, and math concepts, plus a big dose of imagination, to develop solutions to real-world challenges. They also design, build, and program LEGO MINDSTORMS®-based robots to perform autonomous “missions” on a playing field. Along the way, they develop critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills.


How to participate

1. Learn more about FIRST LEGO using the resources below.

2. Form a team with 5 to 8 (suggested team size is no more than 8 students) other HMS students and get at least one parent/guardian to serve as your team's coach (having 2 coaches is strongly recommended).

2a. Contact Mr. Layman with any questions.

3. Submit registration fee to HMS.

4. Register your team with Mr. Layman's assistance.

5. Set a schedule for weekly, after-school team meetings. HMS is available as a meeting space.

6. Start the Challenge.

What does it mean to be on a FIRST LEGO team?

FIRST Lego League teams have two main objectives.

1) Using the provided programming software and provided LEGO Mindstorm Robot, build and design an autonomous (self-running) robot that completes a series of tasks as described in the Challenge documentation.

2) Prepare a presentation that addresses a problem related to the theme of the Challenge (this year, Hydro Dynamics). This requires that the team identify a problem, conduct research on a proposed solution, and create a presentation that would be presented to judges at a qualifying tournament.

FLL (First Lego League) challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the Hydro Dynamics season, teams will build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. They will also choose and solve a real-world question in the Project. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under FLL’s signature set of Core Values.

Registration Fee: $100 per student

Registration fee covers:

-First LEGO team registration fee: $225 per team

-Challenge Set: $75 per team

-Lego Robotics Equipment/Accessories

-Tournament Fees

Teams can not begin until all participants have submitted the registration fee to HMS, checks payable to HMS PTO.

Suggested Schedule For Teams


-Recruit a team and a parent volunteer coach(es)

-Contact Mr. Layman once team has team has formed and coach(es) assigned and submit registration payment


-Register team with FIRST LEGO

-Review FIRST LEGO documentation

-Meet with team to review FIRST LEGO values, expectations and procedures

-Possibly set up summer practices (at HMS or at home)

-Possibly attend HMS Robotics Workshop set up by Mr. Layman to train students on the Lego Mindstorm Software.


-Set meeting schedule for your team (day, location, time) that runs September through November.


-Teams meet weekly, or as needed, as they progress through the Challenge

-Mid-November: option to participate in FLL qualifying tournament.


-Participate in HMS-only Tournament


Coach Recruitment

Who can be a coach?

You don't need to be a robotics or engineering expert (or even novice) to coach. What is needed most from a coach is someone that is dependable, well-organized and can both facilitate student work and step away to let children design their own solutions.

Due to likely scheduling conflicts, we suggest that each team have a main coach and an assistant coach.

This handbook from FIRST Lego has all the information you will need.

It may also be helpful to watch this video designed for new coaches.

Additional Resources

Anticipated Questions

1. My child is interested in participating but isn't part of a team, can she/he still participate?

Yes. Mr. Layman can assist in finding a team for individual students to join.

2. Is there a limit to how many teams the school can have?

We can support up to five teams. Thus the first five teams to submit registration fees will have a spot. Subsequent teams will need to be placed on a waiting list.

3. There is a lot of equipment with this program, where can we keep it all?

All supplies and materials will be delivered to HMS, and will be considered the property of the HMS PTO and stored in a classroom at HMS.

4. Who is responsible for the purchasing of equipment and supplies?

HMS PTO and administration will coordinate all purchases, however team coaches do need to register on the FLL website.

5. How often and how long should meetings be?

That is up to individual teams. Most of the FLL literature and resources suggest weekly meetings that are approximately 2 hours long. As the tournament season draws near many teams make additional time to prepare. Based on experience, it is recommended that teams are ready to practice as soon as school starts, which will require some summer organizing. Based on building availability, HMS can be possible practice/meeting location during the summer.

6. Do I need to know anything about Legos or robots in order to participate?

Not at all. A positive attitude, willingness to work with others and your imagination are all that is needed.

7. How do the tournaments work?

A local school will host a qualifying tournament in mid-November (TBD). Teams who earn a certain place in this competition then qualify for a regional tournament that is typically hosted in Morris/Sussex county, then there is the state tournament. The tournament season can run into February for teams that advance that far. Considering we are a first-year program and the ages are 9-14 at all tournaments, our goal is to compete at the qualifying tournament and to have fun doing so.

All teams will participate in our own intra-squad tournament at HMS in December. This is not a competitive, qualifying tournament but just for fun.

Thank you to the following for their generous support of this endeavor

Big image


Questions? Contact Principal Doug Layman using the information below.