Event Registration – NOW OPENED

CLICK HERE for event information and to register.

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Paypal Link

The link to pay the regional activity fee via paypal has been fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Scrimmages Held

Over the past two days, two scrimmages were held for the Animal Allies Season.

The first was at the University of Memphis, Herff College Open House (aka E-Day) on Friday Oct 21. Thanks to all the teams that came out and participated. Our top scoring team was TEAM #17013 – Team UNK….Congratulations!

More pictures from E-Day can be found on the UofM Flickr Page.

Also many students were introduced to FLL during the day when they came though to see the scrimmage.

The second scrimmage was held at St Louis Elementary School on Sat Oct 22. Here the top team was TEAM 4890 – Cardinals Red….good job!

Thanks to St Louis for hosting the event.

Hope to see you all at the zoo for the next scrimmage on Nov 5th.

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MLGW Event

On Oct 4, MLGW along with TVA hosted a FIRST Robotics Exhibit During their Public Power Week. Here is what they put in their MLGW News Release:

Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s Junior Engineer/Professional Engineer program (JEPE) and the Tennessee Valley Authority are hosting a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics exhibit. FIRST participation encourages students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields and inspires them to become leaders and innovators. These students are likely to be one of our nation’s future Public Power professionals.

Each year during the first week of October, MLGW celebrates Public Power, electricity that comes from a community-owned and -operated utility which provides reliable and safe not-for-profit electricity at a reasonable price while protecting the environment. There are more than 2,000 public power utilities across the nation powering 48 million people. We invite you to join us to see teams demonstrate their LEGO and robotic creations. MLGW’s brand new “Terminator” bucket truck will also be on exhibit. The bucket truck is wrapped with safety messages in a comic book style format.

Students will comprise teams from seven schools who will showcase their robotic and LEGO creations. Representatives from MLGW, TVA and team sponsors will be in attendance.

The event was covered by WREG:

More pics from the event are available HERE

Thanks to the teams that came out to demo!

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Sorry but…..

We have been asked by teams if animals will be permitted at the events. Unfortunately, other than service animals, our venues will not permit live animals on their premises.


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Qualifiers, Scrimages and Regional Activity Fee

We are please to announce this year’s Calendar for the Animal Allies Season!


Oct 21 @ University of Memphis E-Day. (Details)

Oct 22 @ St Louis Elementary School (Details / Register)

Nov 5 @ Memphis Zoo ($5 per person admission and $5 parking fees will apply Details / Register)

Qualifiers – (Please only register for ONE Qualifier)

Nov 12 @ Collierville (Details / Register)

Dec 10 @ Austin Peay State University (Clarksville) (Details / Register)

Dec 17 @ Christian Brothers High School (Details / Register)

Jan 14 @ Kroc Center / Hosted by Members and Alumni of the CBU Chapter of Theta Tau (Details / Register)


Jan 21 @ University of Memphis / University Center (details to be posted shortly)

Teams are encouraged to attend one more scrimmages, but they are NOT required. Scrimmages will ONLY include robot runs (no judging will be done at these events).

Teams must sign up for one Qualifier (and no more than one). These events will have all team judging (Core, Project, Robot) as well as robot runs. At these events, teams will be competing for the right to attend the West TN FLL Championship to be held at the University of Memphis on Jan 21, 2017. All teams must register for Qualifiers no latter than Nov 8!

We know there have been a lot of concerns about “being ready” for a qualifying event. Please keep in mind that all teams who compete at a qualifier will have the same amount of time to prepare, and teams will be invited to the Championship based on their performance as compared teams competing at the same event (not overall scores) to ensure fairness, but for this to work all teams must register for qualifiers by the Nov 8 deadline.

As we announced last year at the West TN FLL Championship, we are going to Qualifier this year and instituting a $75 regional activity fee per team to help offset the cost of the Qualifiers. Unfortunately, FIRST HQ cannot accept these payments for us, so we have set up two ways we can accept payment:

To pay by check, make the checks out to:

Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers
Include in the category or memo “FLL Team ####”

Please email memphisfirstteams@gmail.com and, within the email, please include the check # and team number(s) for which the payment was made

and mail the check to:

Attn: Frank Niedzwiedz
615 Oakleaf Office Ln
Memphis, TN 38117

To pay by credit card, please use the Paypal button below:

When the transaction is complete, please send a copy of the receipt to memphisfirstteams@gmail.com and, within the email, please include the team number(s) for which the payment was made.

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MLGW Art Poster Contest


For more info and rules: http://www.mlgw.com/news/news_artcontest2016

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Watch “What are the benefits to talking to professionals when starting research?” on YouTube

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Workshops Held

On Aug 27 and again on Sep 10, Christian Brothers University hosted workshops for FLL Teams, Coaches and Mentors. Three sessions were held at each workshop. For rookies, there were two sessions, one introducing FLL while playing the “The Game of FLL” (A board game created by the LegoNaughts Team #6489 for the World Class FLL Season), the second session was on basic EV3 programming. The 3rd session was for advance programmers and concentrated on using sensors.

More Pictures: Aug-16 and Sep-10

The West TN FLL Partners would like to thank:

Christian Brothers University for hosting the event. With a special thanks to the students who attended and also to Dr John Ventura for arranging the event and hosting.

Chris Nielsen and Frank Niedzwiedz of RN Systems Design for the beginner programming workshop.

Tom Banning of the University of Memphis for the session on intro to FLL.

Daniel Kohn of the University of Memphis for the advanced programming / sensors session.

And lastly, thank you to all of you who gave up their Saturday to attend the workshops….especially the coaches!

Below are the instructor files from the Advanced Class:

Sensor Handout
Color Chart

Display Color Sensor on LCD
Use Color Sensor to stop on Green
Display Sonar Distance on LCD
Robot Stops 6in from wall (using Sonar)
Robot goes to green line, turns 90 deg then goes until within 6in of wall
Display Gyro on LCD

Note: code assumes color sensor in port 4, sonar in port 3, gyro in port 1.

Other websites:
Turn and Distance calculation spreadsheet/worksheet
Basic EV3 Robot build instructions
Basic NXT build instructions
Tutorials on how to program EV3 and NXT

We also discovered that if you plug the gyro sensor in when the robot is turned on, it might start counting instead of reading the current angle. If this occurs, turn off the robot and turn it back on. The gyro sensor does not like being plugged in with the power on.

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World Festival

If you keep up with FIRST, you probably already know that this year they are having TWO world Festivals, one in Houston, TX and one in St Louis, MO. Now that their are two World Festivals for FIRST, they have more room for more teams to attend. So this year every FLL Championship, including ours, will have an invitation to a World Festival, no more lottery….so in other words: Our Champions Award Winner will earn the write to attend the World Festival in Houston, TX.

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