Hardship Grant – Deadline Approaching

FIRST HQ offers a Hardship grants for teams that cannot afford to participate in First Lego League. If you would like to start a team, but fall into this category, please let us know by filling out THIS FORM.

Please fill it out before Thursday, July 19 by end of day to be considered for the first round of grants!

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Team News and Updates

TVA Grant

The TVA Grant will be available to teams in their service area (see map) for the Into Orbit Season.

TVA Service Area

In the past TVA paid the registration fee for teams that received the grant but it did not include the Challenge Set. This year since it is being included with registration, the Challenge Set will be included in the grant.

The application process for the TVA Grant should be announced shortly (expected around July 1) so watch this website for updates and instructions. Note: teams should register quickly since there is a limit on the number of teams TVA will award the grant to, so do not wait to apply once it becomes available.

Hardship Grants

The TVA Grant, discussed above, only covers the registration (including Challenge Set) for the teams. It does not cover the cost of the Robot or the $75 regional activity fee (used to support our regional qualifiers). If you team needs further assistance to obtain a robot, please fill out THIS FORM to apply for additional assistance. We have grants available and also have robots, donated by TVA, to lend out to teams for the season.

News from the FIRST Global Conference

Just some notes from the conference that 3 members of our team (Tom B. – Partner, Dan K. – Partner and Randall P. FIRST Senior Mentor) attended:

  • Don’t forget that the Challenge Set (aka the Field Setup Kit) is now part of your registration fee. Every team will get a set. Please be aware that you will NOT be able to opt out of buying a Field Set this year (since it is now bundled).
  • A new, shorter Coaches Handbook is now available to help you get started. It can be downloaded HERE. You will note that it is 19 pages (vers 96 pages) and they did this by only keeping only the information you need to get your team ready to compete. There will be a second manual containing info on what to expect at a competition (that should be posted shortly).
  • There will be an “Engineering Journal” template available for teams to use to track their robot design, programming and testing. It is NOT REQUIRED but it will help you team in the design process for the robot. We will post the link when it becomes available.
  • We are always asked “Do I have to use the Lego Software?” For this season the answer is STILL YES, but FIRST is re-evaluating this rule (as they do periodically), but for now you still have to use the Lego supplied programming language.
  • Judging rubrics have changed a bit to reflect the new unified CORE VALUES along with a few other minor changes. They also changed the color of the rubrics – no one could explain why 😉

Regional Activity Fee

We are working on a new way of paying the regional activity fee. Check back for info on how this will be paid, but in the meantime we wanted to let you know the fee will remain $75 (and all funds will be used to support our Qualifier events….there is still no fee for our Championship).

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Hello from FLL Partner’s Conference

We are at the First Partners Conference to learn and share. Just like your FLL teams, those who run regions learn from each other too….

Stay tuned for updates……..

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FIRST HQ has announced that West TN is getting a FIRST SENIOR Mentor (FSM). FSM’s are a group of highly skilled and talented technical and non-technical individuals, who focus on recruiting, supporting and expanding FIRST programs. (For more info on the FSM Program see THIS WEBSITE)

Congratulations to Mr. Randall C. Phillips who also coach’s a FIRST LEGO League Robotics Team and a Business Mentor for a FIRST Robotics Competition Team. He was nominated & accepted to be Memphis and West TN region’s FIRST Senior Mentor, the 1st to have this role in West TN!

You can contact him at rphillips@firstinspires.org.

He heads off for FSM training shortly…

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Professional Development

FIRST Education is hitting the road this summer and may be coming to a city near you! Gather your colleagues and join us in one of three cities for a fun and valuable two-day training event:

  • Atlanta, Georgia: July 24-25 – North Springs Charter High School
  • Compton, California: August 6-7 – site TBD
  • Manchester, New Hampshire: August 21-22 – FIRST® Place

*Participants will receive a certificate for CEU credits upon completion of the 14-hour course.

Click here for more information and to register.

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May Newsletter

To All,

Thank you for your support for this past season.  Attached is a newsletter to summarize this year’s events and for next year’s theme and news.  Have a Great Summer! FLL Team
May Newsletter

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Registration Now Opened

Registration for FLL Teams for the Into Orbit Season is NOW OPENED

Coaches can register their teams via their dashboard.

To learn about the upcoming season CLICK HERE

Please make sure you read A FEW NOTES for info on the TVA Grant and other important info.

Again, it is suggested you register, but do not pay, while TVA works out the details of the grant for this season.

If you wish to register an existing team, but do not have access to the account, please contact us at memphisfirstteams@gmail.com and we will assist you.

Additional Info from FIRST:

FIRST Launch 2019 Mission Updates
FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League

Global Challenge Release for FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League programs this year is set for August 1, 2018

Find product and pricing information here (FIRST LEGO League Jr.) and here (FIRST LEGO League) [please note – the $75 Regional Activity Fee is still in effect for the West TN FLL Region].

FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League materials

Inspire Sets and Challenge Sets are anticipated to arrive in the United States by mid-July and will ship to customers immediately upon arrival.


FIRST LEGO League team registration will include their Challenge Set. FIRST LEGO League Season Pass registrations will not include a competitive team option. Coaches interested in advancing a team or team to an official event should register for the desired number of individual teams.

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New Unified FIRST Core Values Announced

To further the goal of a continuous program from Kindergarten to the senior year of high school, FIRST has unified the Core Values across all the programs. The New Core Values are below:

FIRST Core Values

We express the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition through our Core Values:

  • Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!

This will replace the old FLL Core Values shown below:

FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values:
â–² We are a team.
â–² We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our Coaches and Mentors.
▲ We know our Coaches and Mentors don’t have all the answers; we learn together.
â–² We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
â–² What we discover is more important than what we win.
â–² We share our experiences with others.
▲ We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
â–² We have FUN

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FLL in Tennessee

Although it has NO impact on FLL in West TN, a new FLL Region has been formed that includes North Georgia and South East TN.

The New Region is in yellow in the images below:

The region will be run by Greater Chattanooga Robotics

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New Contest: Design an Epic Trophy

This is from a Lego Ideas Newsletter but I though it would be of interest to FLL teams:

It’s time for another contest! This time we’ve teamed up with the LEGO Education and FIRST LEGO League to bring you the inspiring opportunity to make your mark on FIRST LEGO League history as your winning design will be adapted into the next trophy that will be given to winners at the World Festival event. The Grand Prize also includes a copy of the final trophy, as well as win a 21309 LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V and a $400 USD shopping spree on LEGO.com.

Submissions are open until the 31st May, 2018 at 6am EST.

Learn more about this contest and start designing!

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