FIRST Lego League – Fall Robotics

Shrewsbury Robotics will be running the Fall FIRST Lego League Program again this fall.Smiley face

What is FIRST Lego League:

FIRST Lego League is a competition program for middle school aged children. Working in small teams the students will build a robot using Lego NXT or EV3 bricks to complete challenges within a 2 ½ minute match. Additionally they will select a topic for this year’s challenge, Hydro Dynamics. As a team they will work on both the robot and the project, all students will be involved in the presentation of the project at competition. There is also a judging component for FIRST’s Core Values which are an integral part of FIRST’s philosophy.


What is the challenge?

Every year FLL work with experts in the field to create a challenge that relates to a significant real world issue. The challenge consists of 3 parts. Students will participate in all aspects.

  • The Project
  • Robot Game
  • Core Values

What is the project?

This year’s project will be based on the challenge Hydro Dynamics. Full details will be available August 29th, 2017.


What is the Robot Game?

In the Robot Game

  • Teams design, build, program and test autonomous robots, using Lego Mindstorm Kits, that must perform a series of tasks or missions.
  • The game will have a 2 ½ minute time limit. The game and it’s missions often represent the problem presented in the challenge theme.


What is Core Values?

All teams who compete in FIRST competitions are expected to operate using the FIRST core values. These encourage teamwork, sportsmanship, respect and Gracious Professionalism.


Registered Teams

Shrewsbury Robotics will have 17 registered teams for 2017.

  • Goal of no more than 6 students per team
  • High school students will coach
  • Students will build and program the robot


Requirements to join:

  • The program is open to Oak and Sherwood Middle School students only.
  • Places will be awarded by lottery.
  • Must be able to attend all meeting times.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Promote FIRST ideals, including Gracious Professionalism.
  • Have a desire to cooperatively design, build, program and debug a competition robot.
  • Assist with the team’s research projects and
  • Have fun and show team spirit!


When & where:

We will start September 12th and will continue until the final competition for each team. We expect the teams to compete at the end of November or beginning of December. Those teams who earn a place at the District Championship will continue until that competition at the end of December.


Students are expected to attend all meetings.

  • Days: Tuesday & Thursdays
  • Other days if necessary
  • Time: 6:30-8:15pm
  • Where: Oak Middle School cafeteria.



The cost of the program is $160 payable to Shrewsbury Robotics, this covers competition entry fees, equipment and a team T shirt. Students will also need to pay the middle school Activity Fee directly to their school, this is only paid once each year regardless of the number of activities the student participates in. The middle school Activity Fee must be paid before meetings commence on September 12th, 2017.

This year we are again running smaller teams, with only 6 students on each team. This was very successful last year, with 3 teams moving forward to the district competition and one team winning an award there. The students seemed to have a better overall experience. We still plan to have 100 students in the program. In order to provide a fair method of assigning those 100 places we will again use a lottery.


How does the lottery work?

The lottery will operate as follows: The database will open for sign ups on August 7th, 2017 and remain open until September 3rd, 2017. All signups will be assigned a unique record number. The record numbers will be used in the lottery, which will be drawn by a random number generator. Each grade will have 25 places plus waitlist places drawn. In the event that there are fewer than 25 applicants from any given grade the unused places will be reallocated to the other grades. Successful applicants will be notified through email, make sure you sign up with a regularly used email. Payment information will be sent to the successful candidates with their offer.

Last year we had more signups than we could accommodate, we anticipate this will happen again. If you are unsuccessful in securing a place through the lottery and would like to run your own independent team, I will be holding an informational meeting September 7th at Oak Middle School. The purpose of this meeting will be to provide information on how to sign up and operate a team. Additionally this will provide an opportunity to meet other parents and students and hopefully find other team members.

The primary purpose of this program is to encourage students to think about engineering problems and solutions in real world situations, work on engineering challenges using the robots, work together as a team, and hopefully think about STEM related careers. It is important to us that students have fun while doing this!


Signup link will be open August 7th, 2017

Questions can be directed to Carol McInally, Robotics Program Director at