TVA Grant – Action Required!

FIRST HQ is pleased to inform you that we received the funds today and are ready to dispense to teams. We’ve implemented a new process this season that will expedite funds and disburse to teams directly.

Team Eligibility:

  • All FIRST LEGO League teams in the TVA Service Area (which includes ALL the West TN FLL Region) are eligible for funding, which will cover team registration only ($225)
  • TVA Service Area

  • Teams must begin the registration process with FIRST and hold a team number, however, teams must NOT pay for registration as it will forfeit their TVA Grant. No exceptions, substitutions or refunds will be made.
  • A maximum of 400 TVA team grants are available on a first come, first served basis. Funds will be available until December 1, 2017 OR until team registration closes in your region/nationally OR until we reach the 400 team grant cap – whichever comes first. If we get close to reaching the 400 team cap, an update will be posted on this website.

Next Steps:

  • All teams interested in receiving TVA funds must submit a very short online application to FIRST
  • If you received the TVA funding last year, you should have have already received these instructions via email.

TVA Grant Process

  • FIRST will review all grant requests each Wednesday by noon, Eastern Time.
  • FIRST will send the grant requests to Tennessee Valley Authority to verify the team’s location within their service area. This process usually takes 48 hours.
  • Once FIRST receives the approval back from Tennessee Valley Authority, teams can expect the grant funds to be available within 5 business days.
  • Teams should expect to receive 3 emails during the application process:
        1. To confirm that they have successfully submitted the application
        2. To notify them of approval and application of funds
        3. Information about recognizing/thanking TVA and the use of the TVA logo.
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Look what we got….

Look at what just arrived

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$$Team Hardship Grant Available$$

Deadline: August 18, 2017

Due to the small amount of funding available, please use the “Contact Us Form” and please state the “reasons for your need for this grant.” Please know that ONLY ONE team in this region will be submitted for the funding.  This does not mean that you are ENSURED to receive this funding.

The TVA will be paying for the registration for ALL teams in their service area. The hardship grant is for those teams that cannot afford the robot kit and both the robot and field setup kit.

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Mission Model Building Instructions

Want to get started building your Mission Models…..Click HERE FOR BUILD INSTRUCTIONS

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TVA Dam Tours

Is your FLL Team thinking about HydroDynamics and would like to tour a Tennessee Valley Authority Dam? Use the “Contact Us” form to start the process. Just request the “TVA Dam Tour Form.”

If you are not sure what TVA Dam is closest to you, click HERE to goto their interactive map.

Unfortunately, there is no TVA dam near Memphis (sorry teams)

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News from the FIRST Community Conference 2017

Back in June, the First Community Conference was held in Nashua, NH and TN was represented by Daniel Kohn (West TN FLL Partner). Here is some news from the conference:

The Volunteer Registration system (VIMS) will be upgraded and will be renamed Volunteer Registration (VR).

More was discussed on Season Pass (as reported HERE). There are still many unanswered questions on how this will work, so it sounds like they will be running it as a pilot program this year (a few school systems have been signed up for this). The big reason for the delay is figuring out how to support Season Pass Schools without putting more work on the regional partners. FIRST is working on coming up with a “FLL Certified Trainer” program to help support these teams with training and building up regional trainers to run these courses for schools and school systems adopting the new “Season Pass” model.

Some new resources for teams were announced:

Lego now has EV3 curriculum on their website at Scroll down the page a bit to the “Add Your Curriculum” Section. They have modules on Coding, Design Engineering (Problem solving), Science, and Space.

FIRST has FLL Coach training available as well. You will need a Schoology account, then to add the FIRST training request access to “FIRST Steps” HERE. Training includes:

  • Pre Season Prep
  • Module 1 – Intro to Core Values and Teamwork
  • Module 2 – Researching and Programming Basics
  • Module 3 – Narrowing the Problem and Designing the Robot
  • Module 4 – Identifying a Problem and Building Attachments
  • Module 5 – Selecting a Problem and Programming missions
  • Module 6 – Creating the Presentation and Refining the Robot
  • Module 7 – Presentation Practice and Robot Judging Prep
  • Module 8 – Preparing for the Tournament

It also gives you access to other webinars.

There is a 2nd Schoolology training available on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Click HERE on how to get access (again you will need a Schoology account).

Need info to help sell FIRST Lego League to your principal or administration. Check out the Educators page. You will find how FIRST maps to educational standards, and other info that might help. Also, check out the Impact FIRST has (wonderful statistics that can help sell the program and get it in your classroom)

Lastly, make sure you check out the NEW PROJECT RUBRIC for this year. There has been a few changes to how the team will be judged. (will be released Aug 17).

Don’t forget the Game Release for


Aug 29, 2017

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Resources for Hydro Dynamics

Teams, looking for resources to get started on the Hydro Dynamics season?

The University of Memphis has Water on Wheels (WOW) is a mobile learning experience focused on the science of water. For more info or to book a visit to your school check out there webpage at

WOW will also be at the following events that are open to the public:

Tiger Blue Goes Green (Tuesday Sep 27 from 10am – 2pm at the UofM Student Plaza) (More Info)

E-Day (Friday Oct 20, 2017 all day) (More Info)

You can also contact Clean Water Memphis which is a local organization interested in protecting our water here in Memphis.

Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW) has there water quality report online. You can also request a speaker for your school HERE

Know of other resources you are willing to share? Use the “Contact US” form to the right to let us know. Please use the subject line “Team Resources”

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TVA Funding and other Registration News

TVA is once again working with FIRST to get more students involved in Science Technology Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) by paying the registration fee for all the teams in there service region (including West TN – See Map)

While FIRST works out the details of how this will be done it is suggested that teams DO NOT PAY FOR REGISTRATION (complete the online registration up until the payment). This will let us know how many teams are planing on participating and also get you on the list of teams to receive funding (last year, towards the end of registration, the money did run out).

If it goes as planned, the registration cost will be credited to your account shortly.

Please note that West TN will still have a regional activity fee of $75 this year to help support the qualifiers. This will be paid separately from the team registration.

Teams will also still be required to buy the Challenge Set (AKA the Field Setup Kit) for $75.

Also see the new registration options (in other post)….

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New Registration Option

FIRST just announced a new registration option. It is called Season Pass (working name, might change). It gives an option for schools that want to give the FLL experience to more students a NEW OPTION.

There are two Season Pass Options:

Small – 50 students @ $950 (15% discount) and you can purchase up to 5 challenge sets @75 a piece
Large – 100 Students @ 1795 (20% discount) and you can purchase up to 10 challenge sets @75 a piece

This allows schools to form multiple teams in house and then select the best team to move forward to the regional qualifier. The down side is that ONLY ONE TEAM GETS TO MOVE TO THE OFFICIAL QUALIFIERS.

We will have more details on this option after the FIRST Community Conference next week, so stay tuned for an update.

PS – At this time this option might not be showing up on the FIRST Team Registration page, but should appear shortly.

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Vex IQ Robotics Camp

St George is hosting a Vex IQ Robotics Camp

Here is the description:

Intro to VEX IQ Robotics
Crista Smothers, SGIS Computer Science/Engineering Teacher
Morning (9am-12pm)
Coed, rising 6-9
Maximum: 15

Campers will dive head-first into VEX IQ, a platform “geared” toward young innovators interested in building and programming robots. This camp is suitable for those just beginning their journey into robotics and programming as well as those who have some VEX experience. Campers will get an introduction to the creative and collaborative process of robotics as they build, program, and run amazing task-oriented machines! Campers should bring a computer.

To register CLICK HERE

[Editor Note: This camp is based on VEX IQ, not the Lego EV3’s and is NOT associated with FLL, but this announcement was posted for those interested in going to a robotics camp this summer]

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