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Questions & Answers

What are all these acronyms FIRST, JFLL, FLL, FTC mean?
FIRST is the organization that run the FIRST Robotics Competitions.
We support teams participating in the FIRST program.
Depending on the age of a child, there are different leagues for each age group. Visit our JFLL/FLL/FTC page for more details about each league.
FIRST = For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)

Do I need to live in Forest Hills  or go to PS144 to join?
No, we are open to anyone who is interested in joining. Though majority of our members are from Queens, we have members coming from all different places like Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Westchester and even New Jersey.

My child is X years old, is he/she old enough to join your club?
As long as your child is between the age of 6 and 18 (as of Dec 31), we should have something for his/her age group:
  • Age 6 - 9 : Junior FIRST LEGO League (JFLL)
  • Age 9 - 14: FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
  • Grade 8 - 12: FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
Do you offer Robotics "Classes" ?
Sorry, we don't have teachers and we do NOT offer classes.

What do you offer then?
We are a non-profit volunteer based collaborative league.
Our league forms and supports Robotics teams that are coached by wonderful parent like yourself. Our coaches are volunteers coaches very much like the little league baseball coaches! Our coaches work along with all the parents on the team to guide the team in discovering and exploring Robotics through hands-on learning. Each child is required to be accompanied by an adult guardian at each session. We expect all parents to help and pitch in with the team and the team coaches! It truly takes a village to make the program a success!

What do you do at Team Meetings?

Depending on which league your child is in, the teams will be exploring different robotics topics and missions and creating robot and projects based on the challenge of the season. Younger teams will have an exposition to showcase their model and research work. Older teams will be participating in local and regional FIRST competitions.
When do I register for a team?
Registration usually falls on the first weekend of May. See our Registration page for more details.

When does my team meet?
Saturday is the day that our teams meet.
Visit our schedule page for the specific meeting time/place of your team.
  • JFLL teams meet for 90 minutes a week on Sat.
  • FLL teams meet for two hours a week on Sat.
  • FTC teams meet for three hours a week on Sat.
When does my season start?
  • JFLL : September - December
  • FLL season : September - January
  • FLL Championship team : January - March/April
  • FTC season : September - February
  • FTC Championship team : February - March/April
Who are the coaches?
All of our coaches are volunteers. Each team usually has a minimum of two coaches. One Research Coach and one Robotics Coach. Our coaches are screened and selected by our Directors, they also go through coach training before the season starts. If you volunteer and are selected as a coach, your child will be guaranteed a spot on the team. Visit our Coach page for more details.

Do Parents need to be there at the meetings?

Yes, this is an active parent participation program. At least one adult family member is required to be present at all meetings. The more involved you are with the program, the more your child will get out of the program. This is a great way to spend quality time with your child doing fun and educational activities together!

Will my child get a spot on the team?
The good news is we have a high retention rate among our members (ie. our members love us and never want to leave the club). The bad news is we don't have too many open spot to take on a lot of new members. However, if you volunteer and are selected as a coach, your child will be automatically accepted onto your team. Visit our Coach page for more details about volunteering as a coach.

Can I bring my child's younger sibling to the meetings?
No. This is your child's special time for him or her. Having a younger sibling there will be a distraction for your child.

I don't know anything about robots, how can I help with my child's team?
The teams will be working on a research project as well as designing, building and programming on robots. Parents can help guide the children in many aspects of the team activities, from finding a robot part, to making a costume and rehearsing a play. Our coaches appreciate getting all the help and assistance they can get from Parents and mentors.

Do I need to buy any Robotics kit if I join the club?

No. The club will provide all the equipment needed for the team, including robotics sets and laptops. You do not need to purchase any kit to join. However, parents are always asking me where can they get a kit for their kids to play at home, so the links to the LEGO Educational site are listed below.

What kits do the teams use?

The junior teams range from ages 6-9. We hold three levels of junior teams.
JFLL Level I (Age 6-7) - Simple Machinary
JFLL Level II (Age 7-8) - WeDo Robotics
JFLL Level III (Age 8-9) - LEGO Mindstorm Robots (EV3)
FLL (Age 9-14) - LEGO Mindstorm Robots (EV3)
FTC (Age 14-18) - Tetrix Max Robotics

Level I (Age 6-7)

The focus for Level I group is on the basic mechanical principles.
Students will build and explore machines and mechanisms, investigate motorized machines, calibrate and capture wind, and study gearing mechanisms with this core brick set. The set contains 396 LEGO® Technic elements and full-color building instruction booklets for 10 principal models and 18 main models, all in a sturdy storage bin that includes a sorting tray. Combine the Simple and Motorized Mechanisms Set with curricular-relevant activity packs and the Pneumatics Add-On Set to carry out a broad range of activities within design technology, science, and mathematics.

Level II (Age 7-8)

 WeDo Robotics Construction Set 

Image result for wedo2

YouTube Video

The LEGO® Education WeDo™ Robotics Construction Set is an easy-to-use set that introduces young students to robotics. Your students will build LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors and program their models using the LEGO Education WeDo Robotics Software (900095). When the set is combined with the WeDo Robotics Activity Pack (909580), students will explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as language and literacy. The set contains more than 150 elements including a motor, tilt sensor, motion sensor, and LEGO USB Hub. 

Level III (Age 8-9)

FLL Robot Set

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Base Set
LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Expansion Set

 Where to buy the FLL kit?

The latest generation of LEGO® Education robotics is all here in this set! This essential core set serves as the base for endless NXT robotic creations. The set includes 431 elements, featuring:
  • EV3 Intelligent Brick
  • Rechargeable lithium battery and charger
  • 3 servo motors
  • 1 each: light sensor, sound sensor, ultrasonic sensor
  • 2 touch sensors
  • 3 rotation sensors built into the motors
  • 3 converter cables (for using existing sensors and motors with the NXT Brick)
  • 7 connector cables (one .2M, two .5M, four .35M)
  • 3 lamps
  • USB cable
  • Hundreds of Technic building elements
  • Plastic storage bin with sorting trays
Commercial EV3 1.0