Covid-19 Remote Events

FLL Challenge Remote Events This Season

We are busy planning for the upcoming FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge 2020/2021 RePLAY season in Iowa. Registration for teams is now open with FIRST® at www.firstinspires.org. We know that much of your fall planning on having a team this season is contingent on things like school policies, personal safety, and the ability to meet as a team. We, too, are thinking of the many variables and appreciate your ongoing interest in these programs.

While we do not know exactly what the coming months will bring related to the coronavirus, we do know that having opportunities to engage with teams and coaches will occur, and that we have every intention of having a FLL season with tournament options. Our current planning centers around these two foundational pieces:

  1.  We will have a FIRST® LEGO® League season where teams can learn together and have remote tournament experiences this season as Iowa teams. The software platform we will utilize is being determined, but we are looking at a mechanism to provide teams low barriers to entry, the ability to showcase their work, be reviewed/judged, and be celebrated.
  2. We will offer training opportunities for teams and coaches on for the season, including the remote event platform, expectations, best practices when presenting in a remote environment, engagements with experts, and more.

In everything we do, we are continuing to work to make the season one that is fun, educational and where teams can feel celebrated for their efforts, regardless of not being physically together for events.

At this time, teams may register for Iowa remote events beginning in November. We will be sharing much more about this process in the coming weeks as we formalize our plans to have remote-only tournament experiences available this season for any Iowa team that would like to participate.

What could a remote tournament experience look like? It could be things like videos you submit of your model, robot table runs to be assessed by Referees, videos you upload to facilitate judging on Innovation Project, Robot Design and Core Values, team engagement and feedback from Judges at a scheduled time, remote closing ceremony celebrations with teams from across the state, or opportunities for teams to learn from other teams.

We know whatever it is, that we will have a unique experience for teams. We also know that FLL is about so much more than events. We all wish we could be together, but we feel that having events remotely as opposed to in-person will ensure all of our teams, volunteers and staff can participate safely while still having fun and learning.

We will continue to share more communications with you as we work through these plans, and make sure to watch for our ongoing newsletters as we look to offer up other fun engagement opportunities like our Fun at Home page. Please send any questions or concerns to fll@iastate.edu.

FLL Health and Safety

Iowa State University Engineering Community Outreach encourages teams to take a variety of actions to preserve the health of students, coaches, mentors and volunteers this season. These efforts should be done in collaboration and accordance with local, regional, and public health partners. We understand that in-person events will not be possible this season but hope that teams will practice safety protocols when meeting as a team and at events.

We encourage all teams to consider wearing protective face coverings in classrooms, offices and anywhere physical distancing is not possible. We also encourage teams employ additional cleaning of robotic parts and other team materials and elements to ensure team safety and health.

Our best chance for a successful season includes healthy behaviors that teams can model to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wearing face coverings as able that cover mouth and nose
  • Maintaining physical distance
  • Washing hands frequently
  • Staying home when not feeling well

We wish all teams a healthy, successful season. Thank you for doing your part to care for the FIRST® community.