Students who are specifically interested in pursuing enrichment in a team robotics setting should look no further! Einstein's Workshop offers two competitive robotics seasons.
Fall Season: First Lego League
During the fall (September to December), students can register for FIRST LEGO League (aka FLL) to participate with a team of fellow students in a regional competition. FIRST is an organization which promotes STEM learning and cooperative competition in robotics for students from kindergarten to high school. The FIRST LEGO League is for middle school students in grades 4 to 8.
PhilosophyOur philosophy is to be inclusive, to experience teamwork and problem solving, to learn and be challenged by Mindstorms robotics and to have a positive experience. While winning and scoring is the goal of competition, our primary focus during the season is on teaching and exploring the students passions for robotics. During the FLL season students will:
- Learn how to build and program Lego Mindstorms robots to compete on the season challenge board.
- Research and develop a solution to a current problem based on the topic of the year.
- Learn how to work together as a team and display good sportsmanship at competiton.
What is First Lego League (FLL)?FLL is run by the FIRST organization, a global organization running robotics competitions for students from preliminary school to high school.
At competition students must compete in 3 equally scored categories:
Points scored by the robot on the competition board.
A short presentation on a solution to a problem researched over the course of the season.
- Teamwork (aka Core Values)
How well the team performs together and treats their fellow teams.
How Are Teams Assigned?As we get close to the first day of class we will divide students into teams of peers with similar experience and age. We do not have "try-outs" or are selective of who joins our program, all are welcome. Please note that there may be several sections over Saturday and Sunday. Based on who is registered in each section you may be asked if you can transfer to another section. This would be based on a better team fit and not required.
Students will be divided into teams and assigned an Einstein's Workshop staff member as a coach to progress their average of 6-person team through the season's challenge. The season culminates on an all-day Saturday regional competition in mid-December.
What is included in the cost of FLL?
Enrollment and pricing for FLL at Einstein's Workshop includes class time, instructors, equipment, registration fees, supplies, t-shirts and everything they will need for competition day. FLL starts meeting in September for 2 hours per week and ends at the day of the competition which is roughly 12 weeks.
What is the "FLL Robot Skills Team"? And why is it less expensive?
Over the years competing with FLL teams we have found that we often get many brand new students who have little to no experience with a mindstorms robot. This means that students need a LOT of time to simply learn the fundamentals and during that time they also need to research, design and write a presentation. The result is a team which can be overwhelmed by competition day.
On the Robot Skills Team students will learn basic to advanced robotics skills. They will use the current year competition board to practice their skills. However this team will not do the research project/presentation or attend the competition as a team (they are invited to come and watch so that they see what it is like). The Skills Team will help students to learn the skills needed to be more successful in future years. This allows us to reduce the price because each class is less time and we will not be registering the team, providing T-shirts or competion day staff.
When is the competition?
We will not know when the competition day is until about mid November. There are several hundred teams in Massachusetts and it takes time for them to be assigned to events.
Spring Season: VEX IQ Robotics
VEX Robotics takes place in a spring session. During VEX students will work in teams of two to create a controller driven robot designed to meet challenges on the official VEX competition board. The season culminates in an in-house competition in which students will compete with other Einstein's Workshop teams.