Preparing for your Qualifier: Essential Items  CLICK HERE 
Get Great Images for Your Team or Event:.  LEARN MORE HERE  
Why won't my robot run straight!.  LEARN MORE HERE  
Great new articles from RobotMats.  LEARN MORE HERE  

Resources 2021-2022 Cargo Connection

Here are all the great resources we provide each year. Enjoy!

On your mark, get set, LAUNCH!

NOTE: This a long page with many resources. Be sure to scroll all the way down!

Click on any article title to open it as a separate page!

TechBrickArrow

What is FIRST LEGO League? Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by two or more adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League* teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8**) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.

Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by two or more adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League* teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8**) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.

https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll

Please take just 1.2 minutes to watch our intro video!

TechBrickArrowSCROLL DOWN FOR RESOURCES

  • Mat Art
  • Folding FLL Table and Training Tools
  • Cargo Connections Logo

  • COMING SOON!
    • Team Intro Sheet
    • Field Worksheets for Strategy Planning
    • Build Guide for Initial Model Construction
    • Brice's Famous Mission Sheets
    • Challenge Table Worksheets
    • Step-byStep Programming Worksheet
    • Season Planning Schedule
    • Element Images for Custom Graphics
    • LEGO Printable Ruler
    • FIRST Stat Slides
    • Meet and Greet Games
    • Mission Path Calculator
    • Other Articles and more!

Check them out today!

TechBrickArrowNOTE: IT IS BEST TO 'RIGHT CLICK' ON THE LINKS BELOW AND CHOOSE "Save Target As..." to download the documents.

It is always preferable to use the HTTP download method rather than just clicking on a file link. All you need to do is right-click on a link (on most computers) or click and hold on older Mac and choose the 'save as...' option. Depending on your browser this will read: "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As..." or "Save File As..." You can then save the file to your desktop or other location for use instead of opening it directly into your browser.

Check back throughout the season as we add resources for education and research for JFLL, FLL, and FTC challenges.

Scroll down for lots of resources . Get them now! Team Info Sheets, Maps, Rules, Worksheets, Rulers and more.

A Note about Document Sizes

We have formatted may of the documents in US LETTER and the rest of world's A4 formats. In practice you can print either by choosing fit to page or margins when printing.

A Note about Printing Elements at Fedex or Similar Stores:

Some stores have refused to print our documents based on corporate copyright policy. However, the documents below do not fall under the policy. Got to the FLL Legal Notices Page and print out the PDF Titled: "Policy on the Use of FIRST Trademarks and Copyrighted Materials." See section II points 1 and 2

Recommended Printer

If you don't have a printer for the larger items we recommend eSigns. Go to this page:

https://www.esigns.com/matte-banners/

Choose:

  • 4x7 feet
  • No grommets
  • No hem
  • Add in the notes: Trim to size (45x79.5)
  • Upload the document.

II. WHO May Use These Trademarks and Copyrighted Materials
1. Currently registered FIRST teams and FIRST participants may use the FIRST and the Joint FIRST and LEGO Trademarks (word marks and logos), and the LEGO word marks, in a way that relates to their FIRST team names and activities (e.g. the “FRC® Wonderbots” or the “FLL® Rocket Kids.” They do not have to obtain advance permission, use Disclaimers, or provide advance notice to FIRST.
2. Registered FIRST teams or FIRST participants (i.e., non-profit entities) may use the FIRST and the Joint FIRST and LEGO Trademarks (word marks, not the logos) and the LEGO word marks, and Copyrighted Material to conduct activities related to a FIRST program (e.g., an FRC team teaching skills to an FLL or Jr.FLL team) as long as they use the revenue to underwrite their cost of participation in FIRST programs and use the Disclaimers. They do not have to obtain advance permission or provide advance notice to FIRST, but as noted, they are not permitted to use the logos.

A Note about Acrobat Files for all users: Please use Acrobat Reader or Pro

Mnay of the files below are in Acrobat format (PDF) for high quality reproduction. So many programs now exist to read PDF's and most do not print them well. You should install the actual ACROBAT READER to view them and make sure they are opening in that program. You can download the latest Acrobat Reader from Adobe at https://get.adobe.com/reader/.  Be sure to uncheck all optional offers.

Mat Art

FLL2021 Mat CargoConnections WebNOTE: This was adapted so there may be some minor deviations in alignment. THIS IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR AN OFFICIAL MAT PURCHASED FROM YOUR LEGO DISTRIBUTOR. IT IS ONLY INTENDED FOR USE TO MAKE PRACTICE MATS.

Just Base

pdfFLL2021-Mat-CargoConnections-Base.pdf

jpgFLL2021-Mat-CargoConnections-Base.jpg

Full Size Plain Mat

pdfFLL2021-Mat-CargoConnections-FullSize.pdf

jpgFLL2021-Mat-CargoConnections-Letter.jpg

11 inch wide mat image

jpgFLL2021-Mat-CargoConnections-Letter.jpg 

Recommended Printer

If you don't have a printer for the larger items we recommend eSigns. Go to this page:

https://www.esigns.com/matte-banners/

Choose:

  • 4x7 feet
  • No grommets
  • No hem
  • Add in the notes: Trim to size (45x79.5)
  • Upload the document.

Cargo Connections Mat for Blind and Sight Impaired Students 

EMPOWERMAT, Robotics Mat For Visually Impaired, Cargo Connect

Help your visually impaired and blind students excel in this year's FLL challenge: Cargo Connect

Our accessible version of the 2021 FLL Competition mat allows visually impaired and blind students to successfully complete their missions. Empower Mats works with The Maryland School of the Blind through a grant from the Vision Advancement Foundation of Oklahoma to develop solutions to enable visually impaired and blind children to excel in student robotics programs. Our expertise and unique processes have enabled the teams in Maryland and other schools to excel in these events. How? Let’s learn more. The official FIRST LEGO League mat provides an engaging visual environment for sighted students. For visually impaired and color-blind students it presents a confusing image, and it does not provide any tactile guidance for low vision and blind students. Empower Mats Accessible Symbolics process reduces the colors to large, clear areas and makes all robot guidance lines black. The base accessible mat’s colors can be easily viewed with any of the major categories of color-blindness make it accessible to wide range visual abilities. An optional tactile overlay can be added to surface, giving students the ability to touch the mat to understand missions and relationships allowing them to use their existing tools to measure actual distances and relationships.

ReplayLogoColor WebLooking for the Logos for Cargo Connection? They are hard to find.  Here they are!

Righ click on the link below to download the zip file:

 zipCargoConnectLogos.zip

Contains:

  • CargoConnectLogo.ai
  • CargoConnectLogo-01.eps
  • CargoConnectLogo-072.png
  • CargoConnectLogo-150.png
  • CargoConnectLogo-300.png
  • CargoConnectLogo-web.png

From Week 0 to Your Tournament in 16 weeks and Beyond (to Mars). A great resource from one of our mentors.

Ginny To, the lead mentor of the ELECTROBOTS in Maryland has prepared a very useful schedule for FLL teams. I know this is in the handbook and other places, but her presentation is concise.  These documents are provided in Microsoft Word so you can modify them.

US LETTER: docFLL-2020-Replay-SampleSchedule.doc

UK A4: docFLL-2020-Replay-SampleSchedule-A4.doc

SPANISH A4: docFLL-2020-Replay-SampleSchedule-A4-ES.doc

GERMAN A4: docFLL-2020-Replay-SampleSchedule-A4-DE.doc

Traducido por Antonio Zumaquero, Entrenador y Mentor FLL en España, http://roboticaliceoerasmus.es

Portable Robotics Table Topper - Corrugated Plastic, Table Topper Lightweight and Portable Robotics Table

  • Made out of highly durable 4MM corrugated plastic
  • Very easy to set up (under 1 minute)
  • Easy to Clean and Folds Flat for Storage
  • Weighs 6lbs
  • Store 12 or more in the same space as one wooden FLL table.

Use this code at checkout for a 5% discount and free shipping (US)
xctablediscount

https://www.geyerinstructional.com/portableroboticstable

Watch the videos! >>>>

206895 1 portable robotics table topper corrugated plastic wro table topper

And check out all the training mats at Geyer:
http://geyerinstructional.com/robotmats

3 NEW SHEETS INCLUDED!

Over the years we've created some very effective exercises that we use to get our kids talking. It is essential that your team learn to community clearly and effectively, especially in impromptu settings.

Two of your four challenge tasks (teamwork and technical interviews) are essentially unscripted. Mentors pace back and forth outside the doors unable to assist their teams.

Remember public speaking is one of most people's greatest fears. You need to teach your team to speak clearly and spontaneously.

These excercises are designed to get students talking about a wide range of topics. Some will be hesitant. Gently encourage them to speak clearly and with informed, engaging speech.

US LETTER:  zipCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL SHEETS IN ONE ZIP FILE

SPANISH LETTER (10 games):  zipMeetAndGreet-Spanish-Letter.zip

Traducido por Antonio Zumaquero, Entrenador y Mentor FLL en España, http://roboticaliceoerasmus.es

Enjoy!

  • TechBrick-10-Item-Story.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-A-Really-Short-Story.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-Biggest-Word-Ever.pdf   (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-Convince-Us.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-I-Would-Like-To.pdf   (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-Marker-Mystery.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-Plural-Weather.pdf (English)
  • TechBrick-Tell-A-Story.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-Think-Quickly-1.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-Think-Quickly-2.pdf (English)
  • TechBrick-What-About-You.pdf (English/Spanish)
  • TechBrick-What-if-I.pdf   (English/Spanish)

 

In 2009 our 'Senior Team’ (FLL Team 1), which includes our older FLL students and some younger ones in their 5th year of FLL, is took a different approach.

We are teaching them to do true product development by describing the challenge in detail BEFORE they pick up one brick.

One of the tasks as do a real calculation of the speed the robot must achieve to make it through all the missions. So Nathan W developed this spread sheet to make sure the robot can complete the missions.

  • We've left some sample data in the sheet so you can see how it works.
  • Begin by measuring the distance your robot must travel to complete all its missions.
  • Then enter any stop times (in seconds) that represent the time you take to do a particular task.
  • What you have left is the time your robot can drive. Divide into distance and you your IPS/CPS measurement.
  • We will leave the calculations of IPS/CPS to you and of course the test of whether your robot can maneuver at that speed.

xlsTechBrickRobotDistanceCalculator2018.xls

Why Won't My Robot Run Straight! NEW! UPDATED!

2017WheelsThis is the most frequently asked question we've recieved over the years.  Here are the reasons:

  1. USING PUFFY WHEELS:  The basic pneumatic wheels that come with the starter kits compress easily and therefore constantly change diameter. The are also lumpy on the tread area. A robot of even moderate weight will force the wheel to compress as it drives creating unpredictable and uncorrectable changes in direction. The solution: Find wheels with hard, solid treads.  The picture to the right shows many of the solid and thin tread wheels we've found on BrickLink and BrickOwl over the years. Many are UK only products. Please see the "COOL PARTS" article for more information. Click on the picture to see a larger view.

  2. USING A SINGLE AXLE MOUNT: If your wheel is attached by an extended axel only (not supported on both ends) then you again, create unpredictable and uncorrectable changes in direction. Why? The LEGO axles are very flexible, and the motor drivers have play in them as well. Wheels must have a rigid, matching mount on both sides to ensure stability.

  3. IMPRECISE TRACKER WHEELS OR GLIDES: Similar to "SINGLE AXLE MOUNT," if you have trailing wheels or glides (ball bearing or sliders or wheels) that are imprecise and not firmly mounted, it will wobble as you drive and respond to varations on frictional coeficient of the surface. This is particulary present in caster type wheels. 

  4. NON CALIBRATED MOTORS: The NXT and EV3 motors are all amazing, powerful, and precise. But they are not all the same. We published a very simple way to calibrate your motors. See the article here.

  5. OUT OF BALANCE ROBOTS: Try to make your robots center of gravity in the center, seriously. A robot with a very heavy attachment or device on one side will cause the robot to track erratically.

  6. TEST TEST TEST: After you have followed all the steps above do multiple line runs on a smooth surface twice the length of the table. Try to isolate what is causing any drift and correct with that setup. Then document it.

  7. IMPLEMENT A GYRO SENSOR:  This is very difficult to do and the Gyro sensors have their own drifing issues. However, there are hundreds links on Google on how to do this.  Check them out:  https://www.google.com/search?q=using+ev3+gyro+sensors+to+run+straight

 

Crazy fun Group Opera: Learn to Speak like Gilbert & Sullivan

Helping Your Students Speak Well: Sing Gilbert & Sullivan

Gilbert & Sullivan wrote clever, engaging, lyrics in modern opera. This song poses a very difficult task indeed. One that most students have never faced. Give them a chance. Have some fun with this. Hand out the lyrics. Please view the live version on YouTube. Then play the music only version and have them sing along. Give out awards for students who can return the next week and sing it by themselves.

Lyrics and Definitions:  

US LETTER:  pdfTECHBRICKModernMajorGeneral.pdf

UK A4:  pdfTECHBRICKModernMajorGeneralA4.pdf

MP3 files with Lyrics and Music

On YouTube

Parts2018Over the years there have been thousand of parts made by LEGO. You can find them at BrickLink and many can give you a competitive advantage. Jonathan has compiled some of the more interesting parts. There are thousands more. Happy searching!

US LETTER: pdfJonathansBricklinkTips2018.pdf

UK A4:  pdfJonathansBricklinkTips2018-A4.pdf

SPANISH LETTER: pdfJonathansBricklinkTips2018-LETTER-ES.pdf

SPANISH A4: pdfJonathansBricklinkTips2018-A4-ES.pdf

Traducido por Antonio Zumaquero, Entrenador y Mentor FLL en España, http://roboticaliceoerasmus.es

Angela W from the Netherlands Asked: "We saw the info about the parts made by LEGO. We looked at the link for the Lego parts and it is indeed a perfect link but for teams in the Netherlands it is hard to get parts. In the Netherlands there are no shops were you can get single items only boxes with total cars etc. BRICKSHOP Holland stores have none of the items and we don't know where we can go now. Can you help us?"

Answer: You can buy these parts directly from re-sellers. Most ship internationally. All you need is a free account at BrickLink ( https://www.bricklink.com ) or BrickOwl ( http://www.brickowl.com ) and a PayPal Account (also free http://www.paypal.com)

We have ordered parts from Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, etc. In fact many of the parts on BrickLink are not available from LEGO which is why it is fascinating. According to FLL rules you can use any official LEGO item every manufactured!

What You Must Accomplish: Your goal is simple: Tell the story well.

CLICK HERE TO GET THIS DOCUMENT

Along the way, you must try to get every team and participant in at least one picture if not more. Why? People love pictures of people they love. You’ll also be looking for those moments of triumph and learning and failure that illustrate the outcomes of this effort: To teach young engineers. You will be looking for smiling, engaged children and helpful adults. You will be looking for hard working, compassionate volunteers in all areas. You will be looking for innovative research and design. You will highlight the amazing facilities that schools and organizations make available to these programs. You will record the excitement of the spectators and messages of the special speakers. And you will record all that on ‘film’ to preserve the day, the outcome of months of hard work, for the teams, mentors, and parents.And you will become an important part of the event and its success.This guide provides ideas, resources, and examples of how to do this well. So do it well.

// Marco Ciavolino
Partner, Enktesis LLC
Executive Director, TechBrick Robotics

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS DOCUMENT

  • FIVE IMPORTANT BUSINESS PRINCIPLES 3
  • FILE NAMING SO YOU CAN FIND YOUR WORK 4
  • FOLDER NAMING AND VERSIONING 5
  • A MOST EXCELLENT TIP FOR OUTLOOK PART 1 6
  • E-COMMERCE IS HARD: No Magic Bullets 7
  • FORMAT YOUR EMAIL IN A SENSIBLE MANNER 8
  • DON’T SEND TO, CC OR BCC WHEN YOU SHOULD SEND PERSONALLY 9
  • NITTY GRITTY OF WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT 10
  • WHAT IS A CORPORATE ID? 11
  • DESIGNING A LOGO 12
  • THE SIX BASIC WORD FUNCTIONS TO KNOW 13
  • GOOD TYPE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. REALLY. 14
  • CAN YOU WEATHER :) CLOUD COMPUTING? 15
  • FROM 36 EXPOSURES TO 3600: HOW TO SORT DIGITAL PHOTOS 16
  • PHOTOGRAPHING EVENTS: THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW 17
  • MAKING ALL YOUR VIDEOS GREAT 18
  • BIG COLLECTION OF TRAVEL TIPS: BE WARNED 19
  • MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS FLOW CHART 20
  • PRIMER ON THE REASON FOR REQUIREMENTS 21
  • UNABASHED SELF PROMOTION 22

 

TechBrick Education
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD USA
http://www.techbrick.com

Managed by Northern Chesapeake STEM, Inc.
https://northernchesapeakestem.com

Contact Marco Ciavolino
info@techbrick.com
410.838.8264
©2021 Techbrick.com

FIRST®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, FTC®, FIRST® LEGO League, FLL®, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, and JrFLL®, are jointly held trademarks of FIRST® (www.usfirst.org) and The LEGO Group, neither of which is overseeing, involved with, or responsible for this activity, product, or service.