Here’s everything you need to know to join FIRST LEGO League

We can’t wait for you to join us for CITY SHAPERSM!

To help you get started, we’ve put together everything you need to know about coaching a team.

Assemble Your Team: You’ll need two or more committed adult mentors to guide your team of up to 10 students as they work together designing, building, and programming their robot.

Program Cost: You can start your team for around $750, which includes your team’s FIRST® LEGO® League Season Registration ($225) and CITY SHAPERSM Challenge Set ($75) and your choice of a LEGO® Education SPIKETM Prime ($410) or LEGO® MINDSTORMS® ($496) robotics set.

West TN FLL charges an additional $75 Regional Activity fee that pays for your team to participate in a Qualifier Tournament. There is no additional fee for teams advancing to the West TN Championship (thanks to the University of Memphis).

Your CITY SHAPER Challenge Set includes an exclusive selection of LEGO® models that illustrate real-world problems your team will create their robot to solve.

Review Your Resources: Regardless of your technical experience, our resources are here to help guide you through your first year. FIRST LEGO League team members are encouraged to bring any skills they have and a passion for learning and exploration – that goes for students and coaches!

If you have questions about our resources, program costs, or robotics kit options, email team support

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Registration Opens

Registration for the 2019-20 FLL Season is now opened. See THIS PAGE for more info.


FIRST LEGO League team registration will default to include their Challenge Set.
Purchasers may remove the Challenge Set by unclicking the box that indicates a Challenge
Set is part of their purchase.

NOTE: TVA has paid team registration for FLL teams in their service area (including all of West TN) for the past few years, one catch, you CANNOT PAY THE REGISTRATION and then get the grant afterwards. So even though it is odd to say….do NOT pay for the registration, wait for the grant to become available!

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New This year

FLL is allowing ANY PROGRAMMING language for use at competition this year. You can stick with EV3-G or use one of many languages out there.

Click HERE for a list of Alternative Programming Languages for Lego Mindstorms. The page also includes links to obtain the software required.

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Lego Spike Delayed

FYI, we just received word from Lego that the SPIKE release date has been pushed to early 2020 (so it will NOT be available for the “City Shaper” Season).

According to the email:

The release time frame for [Lego’s] newest product has been adjusted to early 2020. LEGO Education holds itself to an exceptionally high standard for quality in everything they do, and they want to create the biggest possible impact on the students learning with their products. With that in mind, they’ve decided to adjust the expected launch of SPIKE Prime to early 2020 to ensure the new product meets that high bar.   

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Partners get hands on preview of SPIKE

At the FIRST community conference, your regional FLL Team got hands on experience with the beta version of the SPIKE robot and software (due out in Fall).

Again, SPIKE does NOT replace the EV3. Lego will support both and they can both be used for FLL.

I have included some pictures (below). Some things to point out are:

  • Red Wire Management Clips
  • Pieces designed to better interface regular Lego bricks to your Lego Technic pieces in the robot kits.
  • Software senses devices (sensors, motors, etc) plugged in and displays current data from sensors (last pic)

As for other things:

  • Does power up much faster than EV3
  • Cannot name programs (programs are numbered when loaded to the robot) and run by selecting the program number.
  • Can plug in any device to any opened connector (no motors go one end and sensor on the other end).

[note – we saw beta versions, so some of the items mentioned might be changed by ship date]

If you have an EV3 but see how some of the new pieces would help your team build their robots… can buy the expansion pack for the Spike to get some of the pieces.

Sorry, we not allowed to share more…..

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New TN Regional Map

FIRST has updated the TN FLL Regional Map. I am happy to report that Clarksville (and all of Montgomery County) is now officially in the West TN Region. This means by default Clarksville teams no longer have to change their region when registering unless they wish to compete in the East TN Region.

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2019 FLL Championship Video

Kudos to LEGO® Education for creating this video snapshot of FIRST® LEGO®League at FIRST® Championship this year.

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E3 Strike at World Championships

E3 Strike (FLL Team 786) from Clarksville TN represented the West TN Region at the FIRST World Championships in Houston TX.

Here are a few pictures our FIRST Senior Mentor (Randall Phillips) took when he visited the team:

Also, if you didn’t notice, in the last Team Blast (dated May 3) had a picture of E3 Strike in the “Celebration and Shout-Outs” section:

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Robotics Educators Workshop

Calling all STEM teachers! Interested in robotics? Want to learn how to start a competitive robotics team? Join us for a FREE 2-day training workshop to learn:

  • Basics of robotics (mechanical systems, power, sensors, and more!)
  • Robotics competition options
  • Platform specific training (VEX IQ or Lego EV3)

Teachers selected for the training will be provided access to robotics kits that can be use with their student teams for the 2019-20 year. We will also discuss grants that are available to help you start your teams.

Two training workshops will be hosted in July 2019 at the University of Memphis Herff College of Engineering.

To apply, please visit the application link for the dates you would like to attend:

July 15-16:

July 22-23:

Space is limited and preference will be given to teachers committing to starting a robotics team at their school for 2019-20 – apply today!

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Applications Open for Girls Experiencing Engineering Summer Program

Girls… you liked the Into Orbit season and working with Robots and wish to learn more about STEM fields……

Middle and high school girls can join the Herff College of Engineering this summer for Girls Experiencing Engineering (GEE), a program featuring hands-on, team-based design challenges and a variety of STEM speakers. The goal of GEE is to inspire girls to consider STEM (particularly engineering) careers. Applications for the 2019 GEE program are now available. Space is limited; register here>>

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