What is Pre-Season? You can think of it as the time between when you register and before the new season Challenge Kickoff!
Below are some ideas compiled over the years:
- [from a rookie coach] my game plan with my rookie team is to start building as many “plan” robots as possible before the challenge is released. I’m hoping that will give the team an idea of what kind of mechanisms can be built with the LEGO Mindstorms kit. I’ve ordered a few books that include plans, and will also use the tutorial exercises that are built into the software.
- The web site www.nxtprograms.com contains free building instructions and programs for a variety of NXT projects that an FLL team can use to familiarize themselves with building with the NXT parts, and see example NXT-G programs in action. Of particular note, check out the Modular Test Vehicle. We are still compiling equivalent EV3 resources – here is one. Let us know if you have found something useful!
- Learn all that you can about FLL including previous challenges and register the team early and get your 2 adult coaches through the required background screening!
- Determine how the team will cover its costs – does the team want T-shirts, snacks, ? Tips for grant writing
- Determine meeting space and regular meeting days – family calendars get full quickly once school starts.
- Start holding team meetings. You can work on team building skills, basic robot building and programming skills
- Determine which computer(s) the team will use and where the team can work. FLL programs are be transferred between computers, but not easily / obviously.
- Determine where the robot kit will be used – Is there enough space to setup the FLL Challenge table in the same area with the field setup kit (mat/field elements)
- Purchase supplies including storage boxes for your pieces.
- Determine where you will store your team materials when the team is not meeting/working.
- Schedule, or at least begin thinking about, technical and research mentors that can speak to or work with your team.
- Begin doing some general research on this year’s Challenge theme/topic. Careful not to go too deep in any specific area until the Challenge research project details are announced at kickoff.
- When your field setup kit arrives (starts to ship in August), have your team build the models. It typically takes several meetings to get them built.
- Look at other teams’ robot(s) (via videos and/or photos from web) and figure out what mechanism/strategy was used for each challenge.
- Load and test the software. Practice with the robot to familiarize yourself with the technology and different methods of navigation