In-Person and Remote Event Information


FLL Challenge In-person and Remote Events This Season

Registration for teams is now open with FIRST® at www.firstinspires.org. Iowa FLL Challenge Event Registration is also open on our FLL Challenge Qualifier Registration Page. This season, we are offering remote and in-person FLL Challenge Qualifier Events to best fit your teams specific needs and schedule. 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.

In-Person Qualifier Events

Saturdays or Sundays (AM or PM events)

Maximum of 12 teams

Teams can expect: Your team will want to arrive and be ready 15 minutes prior to your first judging session. Each team will meet with the judges for 30 minutes followed by a 30-minute time block for the team’s 3 robot rounds. There will be no team pits, practice tables, or an in-person opening or closing ceremony. Coaches will receive medals upon arrival to the event venue that can be shared with the team, and there will be a remote award ceremony released by the following Monday after all teams have competed at Iowa FLL qualifier events for that week.

Specific to COVID mitigations: Masks will be highly encouraged in the event venue and spectators will be limited at all in-person events. Only the youth team members and 2 coaches will be permitted in the judging room. Teams will only be at the event for 1.5 hours. We ask teams to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled judging session and leave promptly after they finish competing.

More Details About In-Person Events

Virtual Qualifier Events

Tuesdays (PM events only)

6-12 teams per event

The session will run as follows: Teams will log onto Zoom and spend 30 minutes with the judges. Judges will have the chance to ask the team questions related to their robot design, innovation project, as well as the students’ experience on the team (core values). Robot rounds videos will be submitted to Iowa FLL via Box. Robot Game Referees will be scoring teams based on the video submissions. After the event is competed, there will be a remote award ceremony released by the following Monday. There will not be a limit on the allotted spectators during the virtual event via Zoom.

Scheduling: Virtual events will be taking place on Tuesday evenings with teams being scheduled for a 30-minute judging session on the specific evening.

More Details About Virtual Events

In-Person Event Overview

Iowa State University College of Engineering has the privilege of leading the Iowa FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Challenge and FLL Explore efforts, working with committed students, individuals, and organizations that share the goal of inspiring the next generation of diverse youth into STEM fields. We want to thank you for giving your FLL team the opportunity to share and celebrate everything they have learned throughout the season.

The following is general information for attending an Iowa FLL Challenge CARGO CONNECT Qualifier with lots of information you need to know BEFORE attending an event. Please read it thoroughly and let fll@iastate.edu know if you have any questions.

  • ONLINE OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONY
  • 30 MINUTES IN PERSON WITH JUDGES
  • MAXIMUM OF 12 TEAMS PER EVENT

Before Attending An Event

Before attending an event we recommend a few tasks to ensure your event goes off smoothly! Take some time to go though the following points before your event. Also, find some time to watch the Online Opening Ceremonies for In-Person events with your team to prepare.

  • COMPLETE ALL CONSENT FORMS:

    At least two weeks before your Iowa FLL Challenge Qualifier Event, teams need to complete and submit an ISU FLL Consent Form for all coaches AND team members.

  • TEAM ALWAYS WITH AN ADULT:

    Speak to your team about the importance of staying together and always being with an adult at events. Review the schedules and check your email for any updates. And don’t forget to get plenty of sleep the night before!

  • CHECK THE WEATHER:

    First, check the road conditions by visiting the Iowa DOT website at http://511ia.org/. Please review the Iowa FLL Inclement Weather Policy ahead of time, in the event of bad weather at www.isek.iastate.edu/fll. In the case the event must be cancelled, we will contact all coaches via email.

  • EVENT & PARKING LOCATION:

    All Coaches receive an email with the venue name and address. Please keep this information handy and share with any adults driving to the venue. Parking in available close to each of the building used for Qualifiers.

  • EMAIL QUESTIONS TO IOWA FLL:

    If you have questions or concerns leading up to the event or about FLL in general, please reach out to Iowa State University/Iowa FLL at fll@iastate.edu. If your team is unable to attend the event, please let us know as soon as possible.

  • NOMINATE A COACH/MENTOR for the Coach/Mentor Award:

    Iowa FLL is looking for nominations of coaches or mentors who demonstrate the FIRST Core Values and are dedicated to the learning process of FLL Challenge . Please submit nominations via this Coach/Mentor Award Nomination Form at least two (2) days before the event.

Schedule and General Event Structure

Teams will participate in one 25–30 minute judging session and three two and a half minute robot game rounds sessions. All teams will be identified on the schedule with their FIRST Team Number. Please make sure coaches, team members, and any spectators know the team number. Teams can expect the following for in-person events:

EVENT CHECK-IN: 10-15 minutes before scheduled judging sessions

JUDGING SESSION: 25-30 minutes where team talks to volunteer judges about the innovation project, robot design, and core values. Plan to arrive at the judging room 5-10 minutes ahead of your session.

TRANSITION: Once the judging session is over, teams will immediately move to the robot game area.

ROBOT GAME SESSION: Teams will have 3 opportunities or rounds to run their autonomous robot for 2.5 minutes per round to get their highest score for consideration for awards.

DEPART: We ask that all spectators, coaches, and team members depart right at the end of their robot game session.

CHECK-IN

Teams are asked to be onsite 10-15 minutes before the event. We ask that teams not plan to arrive until that time to allow our volunteers to arrive and be ready for teams. The team’s coach will need to check in the team using their FIRST Team Number. Each team will receive one Iowa FLL Medal per team member upon check in. Teams will need to share the number of youth team members on their team including anyone absent. Coaches and mentors will not receive medals for participating, and teams should have no more than 10 students per team. No more than 10 medals will be given to any team. Coaches can determine if the team can wear their medals at the event or wait to hand them out to the team at the end of the event.

Up to 2 spectators per team member will be allowed to watch the robot rounds while seated in the gym or robot game space. Spectators will not be allowed to travel with the team to the judging room or be in the judging room. Two (2) coaches or mentors will be allowed in the judging room with the team. Those two adults are welcome to record the team’s judging session for later viewing by teams.

For teams that are traveling together with the same coaches, we are asking for them to stay with at least one adult in the open area of the Robot Performance Area when the team is not participating in Judging or the Robot Game.

Please note: ISU FLL does hold the right to change the number of spectators allowed at specific events for safety reasons. All teams and spectators are encouraged to wear masks to events for team and volunteer safety. We also ask that you help us by practicing social distancing from other groups.

JUDING SESSION

Once checked in, the team and up to 2 coaches only will move to their judging session. In the judging session teams will talk with 1 set of judges about their FLL Challenge Season and their work on the three Challenge areas: innovation project, robot design, and core values. Up to 2 coaches can silently observe the teams judging session and record or provide live stream to people not attending. It is important that only the students are sharing information with judges. To prepare, please make sure to read the following documents and notes:

Items to note about Iowa FLL Challenge Judging:

  • No Core Values poster is required.
  • No Robot Design presentation is required – we want teams and judges to have a conversation about the robot.
  • There will be no Core Values activity or teamwork activity during the judging session.
  • No projector will be available for team presentations. Teams may bring a laptop to hold as they present slides, if they desire.
  • Please have your robot with the team and a sample of your code that you can share.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged while presenting and answering questions with Judges. Remember to speak up and clearly.
  • Teams will have 5 minutes at the start of the session to present their project. This includes one minute of set up within the 5 minutes, so please be prepared.
  • Remember to practice your presentation and answering questions as a team: Presentation Guide
  • Team project presentations should be live. A short (up to 30 seconds) video is allowed in to be included in the presentation.
  • Team awards, Global Innovation advancement information, and the State Championship Advancement policy are available in the “Iowa FLL Judging Notes to Team” document above.

ROBOT GAME

Once judging is complete, teams and coaches will transition to the robot game area. Teams will run their robot for 2.5 minutes each round while working to complete as many missions as they can to get the highest score. After each match, the volunteer referee will score their run and reset the robot game table. Teams should be prepared to run their robot 3 times at the same robot game table during this robot game session. There will be little to no time to edit the robot between the runs and teams should not plan to reprogram the robot. This change from usual in-person robot game matches is to minimize the contact with teams and surfaces at the event. We ask coaches and any spectators to be big supports and celebrate the team throughout this process.

DEPARTING:

Once finished with the robot game session, the teams and their spectators and coaches are asked to graciously leave the venue to allow the next teams to arrive and have their judging and robot sessions. We wish everyone safe travels when leaving the event. Please ensure to take all your items with you!

AFTER THE EVENT:

Closing Ceremonies will be available at our website (www.isek.iastate.edu) the Monday after the event. This recording will share all award results for that week of events. Please consider sharing this with your team and spectators or consider planning a team gathering for viewing.

OTHER NOTES:

Please check the specific event schedule sent to you by Iowa FLL. There will be no team pits, coach meeting, or practice table at the event. Please do not leave you’re your team’s gear in a hallway or another common area. You can leave your coats with spectators who will be asked to wait in the gym or robot game area while the team attends their judging session.

GENERAL NOTES

SAFETY:

To ensure a safe event, we are asking teams and spectators to:

  • Encourage mask wearing in all spaces of the event.
  • Maintain space between other groups of volunteers and teams (social distance as much as possible).
  • Limit number the number of spectators to 2 spectators per team member.
  • Limit judging session to 2 coaches and 10 team members only.
  • Ensure all youth members stay with an adult at all times at the event.

If members of your team will be in separate locations:

  • Require a parent or legal guardian to be physically present with each team member for the entire event.
  • Remind members and parents/legal guardians that the event might be recorded.
  • Encourage members and parents/legal guardians to remove items from background that would identify location or identity.

GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM:

In keeping with the FIRST® Core Values, we expect all coaches, team members, spectators, and volunteers to exhibit good Gracious Professionalism throughout the event. We thank you in advance for following the instructions of volunteers who are working hard to make sure the event runs smoothly and is safe for all in attendance.

As a reminder, as part of the event registration process, teams agreed to the following safety measures:

  • Be aware of and comply with local ordinances and local public health directives.
  • Instruct individuals to stay home if they or any individual residing in the same home has had any COVID-19 symptoms during the 14 days preceding the date of the event.
  • Allow for physical distancing (6 feet between individuals) wherever possible.
  • Recommend face coverings that cover the nose and mouth where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Ensure the number of individuals does not exceed 50% of the gathering space’s capacity.
  • Have widely available handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer stations.
  • Maintain a list of individuals present in case contact tracing in needed.
  • Please consider, if you are providing food, provide only prepackaged or preassembled food items.
  • Additionally, for members attending an in-person event, follow all posted signage and communicated guidelines received from Iowa State University Engineering Outreach (Iowa FLL).

SOCIAL MEDIA: Find Iowa FLL on Facebook and on Twitter @IowaFLL and use #FLLIASTATE.

WHAT TO BRING:

Before you head out, it is a good idea to make sure you have everything you need (but we recommend that you do not bring expensive personal items – we are not responsible for lost or stolen property). We also encourage teams to not bring anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, since there will be no team pits at the event.

  • Robot
  • Extra batteries or your charger if you use a rechargeable battery pack
  • Laptop/computer and USB cable – if you have a presentation or show the judges your programs.
  • Printed copies of your robot’s programs – optional, but highly recommended
  • Project presentation materials, if applicable
  • Camera, if you want to record judging
  • Optional – box to carry your robot and spare parts to/from the judging room and match tables.

WHAT NOT TO BRING:

  • Expensive personal items — we are not responsible for lost or stolen property.
  • Challenge Set
  • Lawn chairs — we ask that teams and spectators utilize the seating that is available in each building
  • Nail polish, balloons, or confetti
  • Air horns or other loud noise makers
  • Weapons of any kind — ISU Policy (http://www.policy.iastate.edu/policy/firearms)

Frequently Asked Questions

How many spectators are allowed at an in-person Iowa FLL Challenge Event?

Up to 2 spectators per team member will be allowed to watch the robot rounds while seated in the gym or robot game space. Spectators will not be allowed to travel with the team to the judging room or be in the judging room. Two (2) coaches or mentors will be allowed in the judging room with the team. Those two adults are welcome to record the team’s judging session for later viewing by teams.

Please note: ISU FLL does hold the right to change the number of spectators allowed at specific events for safety reasons. All teams are encouraged to wear masks to events for teams and volunteer safety.

What should I do id I coach multiple teams attending the same event?

First of all, it’s awesome that you are providing this opportunity to so many kids. For teams that are traveling together with the same coaches, we are asking for them to stay with at least one adult in the open area of the Robot Performance Area when the team is not participating in Judging or the Robot Game.

Virtual Event Overview

Iowa State University College of Engineering has the privilege of leading the Iowa FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Challenge and FLL Explore efforts, working with committed students, individuals, and organizations that share the goal of inspiring the next generation of diverse youth into STEM fields. We want to thank you for giving your FLL team the opportunity to share and celebrate everything they have learned throughout the season.

Coaches of each team participating will be receiving a Box.com invite from Dayiveth Gomez-Arias. We ask each team to place 1-3 videos into this folder 6 days before the event date. Please watch for this email and log into Box.com in order to access the folder. Additional information regarding Robot Game Video Submissions is below.

The following is general information for attending an Iowa FLL Challenge CARGO CONNECT Virtual Qualifier with lots of information you need to know BEFORE attending an event. Please read it thoroughly and let fll@iastate.edu know if you have any questions.

  • ONLINE OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONY
  • 30 MINUTES IN PERSON WITH JUDGES OVER ZOOM
  • SEND VIDEOS OF ROBOT ROUNDS TO ISEK

Before Attending An Event

Before attending an event we recommend a few tasks to ensure your event goes off smoothly! Take some time to go though the following points before your event. Also, find some time to watch the Online Opening Ceremonies for In-Person events with your team to prepare.

  • COMPLETE ALL CONSENT FORMS:

    At least two weeks before your Iowa FLL Challenge Qualifier Event, teams need to complete and submit an ISU FLL Consent Form for all coaches AND team members.

  • TEAM ALWAYS WITH AN ADULT:

    Speak to your team about the importance of staying together and always being with an adult at events. Review the schedules and check your email for any updates. And don’t forget to get plenty of sleep the night before!

  • SUBMIT YOUR ROBOT GAME VIDEOS:

    All Robot Game videos are due before the Judging Session of the event. See below for more details on each event. Late robot submissions may not be considered, so please be mindful of these deadlines.

    • Teams attending the virtual event on December 7th, need their robot videos in by December 1st at midnight.
    • Teams attending the virtual event on December 9th, need their robot videos in by December 3rd at midnight.
    • Teams attending the virtual event on December 14th, need their robot videos in by December 8th at midnight.
  • EMAIL QUESTIONS TO IOWA FLL:

    If you have questions or concerns leading up to the event or about FLL in general, please reach out to Iowa State University/Iowa FLL at fll@iastate.edu. If your team is unable to attend the event, please let us know as soon as possible.

  • READ OVER EMAIL FROM IOWA FLL

    with information about specific event details and specific event schedules sent at least one week before event.

  • NOMINATE A COACH OR MENTOR:

    for the Coach/Mentor Award. Iowa FLL is looking for nominations of coaches or mentors who demonstrate the FIRST Core Values and are dedicated to the learning process of FLL Challenge. Please submit nominations via this Coach/Mentor Award Nomination Form at least two (2) days before the event.

ROBOT GAME

Teams will be asked to upload their video(s) of for the robot game at least 6 days prior to their event. The Box location to upload will be sent to each team separately by an ISU staff member. Please watch for an invite to the Box location. Teams can upload up to 3 videos of their 2.5 minute robot rounds. Only the top scoring robot round for each team will be considered for the awards with any additional robot round videos being used to break any ties. Please look at the resources below for more information including details on the filming of the robot.

  • Robot Game Guidance And Filming Instructions
  • VIRTUAL EVENT JUDGING SESSION

    Teams will participate in one 25–30 minute judging session via Zoom on the day of their virtual event. All teams will be identified on the schedule with their FIRST Team Number. Please make sure coaches, team members, and any spectators know the team number and have the appropriate Zoom link. Teams can expect the following for virtual events

    • Judging check-in: Log into the judging Zoom link 10 minutes before scheduled judging session.
    • Judging Session: 25-30 minutes where team talks to volunteer judges about the innovation project, robot design, and core values

    CHECK-IN

    Teams are asked to log into the judging room Zoom link 10-15 minutes before their scheduled judging session. We ask that team’s coach let the ISU FLL Volunteer/ Room Monitor know that the team is in Zoom via chat. Teams can plan to use the time before their judging session to:

    If you are using two devices in the same room (ex: a laptop with a student attending the event and a phone showing a robot or poster in the same room), it is best to turn the sound off on the phone or device as well and mute the phone or device. This will help ensure that there is no additional feedback from Zoom participants.

    • Make sure all team members are present
    • If participating individually in the call, team members should change their Zoom Name to be only their first name.
    • Having all team members complete a mic and camera check to ensure virtual audience can hear them.
    • Practice sharing their laptop’s screen if needed

    JUDGING SESSIONS

    Each team will spend 20-25 minutes speaking with a set of volunteer judges about their FLL Challenge season and their work on the three Challenge areas: innovation project, robot design, and core values. Spectators can record for people not attending. It is important that only the students are sharing information with judges, so coaches and spectators should remain on mute with their cameras off.

    To prepare, please make sure to read the following documents and notes:

    VIRTUAL JUDGING TIPS:

    • We have noticed that playing videos through Zoom while screensharing can make the video pixeled and hard to see. If you plan to use a video, try practicing with the video using Zoom.
    • An adult should be always in the room with the child or children while in Zoom (even if the kids are on Zoom at an individual location).
    • If the team is together, please consider masking up even if on camera (and remember to speak loud enough for the judges to hear).
    • Practice with your team on Zoom. You can practice skills like muting/unmuting, finding a quiet space with good lighting, sharing your screen if needed, speaking up enough to be heard and understood, etc.
    • We recommend that team members change their names in Zoom to their first name ONLY and team number (ex: Sally 12345).

    WHAT TO BRING: Before you get on Zoom, it is a good idea to make sure you have everything you need to share with the judges.

    • Robot
    • Extra batteries or your charger if you use a rechargeable battery pack
    • Presentation slides ready if you have one to show the judges
    • Your robot’s programs – optional, but highly recommended
    • Project presentation materials like props, if applicable

    Virtual Spectators:

    Audience members and coaches will be allowed to silently watch the entire judging session. We ask that all spectators and coaches are muted with their cameras off to help the judges focus on the students presenting. It is important that only the students are sharing information with judges. At the end of the time together, audience members may celebrate with teams by putting words of encouragement into chat.

    Watching Other Judging Sessions:

    Teams are invited to watch other teams complete their judging sessions before or after participating. We do ask that all spectators are muted with their cameras off.

    After The Event:

    Closing Ceremonies will be available at our website (www.isek.iastate.edu) the Monday after the event. This recording will share all award results for that week of events. Please consider sharing this with your team and spectators or consider planning a team gathering for viewing.

    GENERAL NOTES

    GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM:

    In keeping with the FIRST® Core Values, we expect all coaches, team members, spectators, and volunteers to exhibit good Gracious Professionalism throughout the event. We thank you in advance for following the instructions of volunteers who are working hard to make sure the event runs smoothly and is safe for all in attendance.

    SAFETY:

    The safety of everyone at the event is a top concern. In the event of an emergency, please contact the police and the tournament organizer.

    To ensure a safe event, we are asking teams and spectators to:

    • Encourage mask wearing when teams are together and social distance as much as possible.
    • Ensure all youth members stay with an adult at all times at the event.

    As a reminder, as part of the event registration process, teams agreed to the following safety measures:

    If members of your team will be together in the same location (for in-person or virtual event):

    • Be aware of and comply with local ordinances and local public health directives.
    • Instruct individuals to stay home if they or any individual residing in the same home has had any COVID-19 symptoms during the 14 days preceding the date of the event.
    • Allow for physical distancing (6 feet between individuals) wherever possible.
    • Recommend face coverings that cover the nose and mouth where physical distancing is not possible.
    • Ensure the number of individuals does not exceed 50% of the gathering space’s capacity.
    • Have widely available handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer stations.
    • Maintain a list of individuals present in case contact tracing in needed.
    • Please consider, if you are providing food, provide only prepackaged or preassembled food items.
    • Additionally, for members attending an in-person event, follow all posted signage and communicated guidelines received from Iowa State University Engineering Outreach (Iowa FLL).

    If members of your team will be in separate locations:

    • Require a parent or legal guardian to be physically present with each team member for the entire event.
    • Remind members and parents/legal guardians that the event might be recorded.
    • Encourage members and parents/legal guardians to remove items from background that would identify location or identity.