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Questions & Answers

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What is FHRL - Forest Hills Robotics League?
Forest Hills Robotics League is a non-profit organization dedicated in promoting STEM education through robotics activity and competitions. We follow the format of sports team leagues, where teams are formed and led by volunteer coaches, who are typically parents of some members on the team.  

Do you offer Robotics "Classes" ?
We now offer spring robotics workshops for our non-competition members. Workshops will be led by veteran coaches that have years of experience in teaching different robotic systems.

For Competition teams, we do NOT offer classes. We form robotics teams that are led by our volunteer coaches. Coaches along with the parents will teach and guide the children through hands-on robotics activities. The older teams will be participating in Robotics competitions. We offer training and support for our parent volunteer coaches.

What do you offer then?
We are a non-profit community volunteer based collaborative league.

We offer learning workshop for non-competition members.
We also form FIRST competition teams:
Our league forms and supports Robotics teams that are coached by wonderful parents 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 steps are you taking with regards to COVID concerns?
Starting March 2022, we no longer require full vaccination.
We continue to require all in-person members, accompanying adults and coaching staff to wear a Face masks when the kids are meeting indoors. Hand sanitizers will be available to all team members during the meetings.

How long is your season? How many sessions do they meet for?
Our season begins in Sept/Oct for FLL and FTC teams, and runs for different length depending on the different league of the age group. Our JFLL teams meet Fall (Oct - Dec) or Spring (Mar-April)
  • JFLL (age 6-10) 
    • Fall session Oct - Dec 2022 (9 sessions) Level 1&2 (60 min) Level 3 (90 min)
    • Spring session Mar - Apr 2023 (9 sessions) Level 1&2 (60 min) Level 3 (90 min)
  • FLL (age 10-14)  Oct- Jan/Mar* (16-18 sessions)
  • FTC (age 15-18) Sept - Mar*  (20-22 sessions)
*competition team's season extends to March/April ONLY if the team qualifies at the their Qualifying tournaments.

What day and time does the team meet? for how long?
All our teams meet once a week on Saturday at PS144, 
Visit our schedule page for detailed meeting time for each team.
  • JFLL (age 6-10) 
  •    Level 1 : 60 minutes @ 9 sessions
  •    Level 2 : 60 minutes @ 9 sessions
  •    Level 3 : 60 minutes @ 9 sessions
  •    Level 4 : 90 minutes @ 9 sessions
  • FLL (age 10-14) : 2 hours
  • FTC (age 15-18) : 3 - 4 hours  or more
What is the cost?
  • JFLL Discover (age 6-7)    : $275
  • JFLL Explore (age 7-8)      : $325
  • JFLL Explore II  (age 8-9) : $375
  • JFLL Advanced EV3 (age 9-10) : 400
  • FLL (age 12-14)   : $450
  • FTC (age 15-18) : $600 (plus additional cost if attending World Championship)
Note: there is a $25  registration fee for new members (non-refundable)

How do I pay?
No payment is required until you are offered and accepted a spot on a team. All payments will be done online via paypal.

What do you do at Team Meetings?
Our Teams will develop their skills in critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking and presentation skills in a collaborative environments working on hands-on projects. Our emphasis is on personal creativity and discovery, there are no right or wrong answers, the kids will explore, discover and learn as they work with their teammates and collaboratively create a fun solution to their challenge problems. 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. Junior teams will conclude their season with a exposition to showcase their model and research work. FLL and FTC teams will participate in local, regional and possibly World FIRST competitions.

What are all these acronyms FIRST, JFLL, FLL, FTC mean?
FIRST is the organization that runs the FIRST Robotics Competitions.
We support teams participating in the FIRST program and tournaments.
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 stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
  • JFLL = Junior FIRST Lego League (for kids age 6-10)
  • FLL = FIRST Lego League (for kids age 10-14)
  • FTC = FIRST Tech Challenge (for kids age 15-18)
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 - 7 : Junior FLL Discover (JFLL Discover)
  • Age 8 - 9 : Junior FLL Explore (JFLL Explore)
  • Age 9-10: Junior FLL Advanced (JFLL Advanced)
  • Age 10 - 14: FIRST LEGO League Challenge (FLL Challenge - competition team)
  • Age 15 - 18: FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC - competition)

When do I register for a team?
Registration will start early June after our open house.
See our Registration page for more details.

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 (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, so sometimes the waiting list could be long.
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 Robotics equipment needed for the team, including robotics sets and ipads. For teams that uses laptops, we do recommend you bring your own laptop with the necessary software pre-installed. You do not need to purchase any robotics 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 6-11. We hold three levels of junior teams.

JFLL Discover (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.

JFLL Explore (Age 8-9)

YouTube Video

WeDo 2.0 makes primary school science and computing come to life through hands-on tasks, real-world projects, and relevant technology that engages pupils. Through project-based activities, pupils’ skills are enhanced across science, coding, engineering and technology. The unique combination of the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software, and inspiring, curriculum-relevant science projects results in a resource that builds pupils’ confidence. Empower them to ask the right questions, define problems, and design their own solutions by putting scientific discovery in their hands. WeDo 2.0 now includes eight exciting modules specifically designed to develop computational thinking techniques.

JFLL Advanced (Age 10-11)

FLL Robot Set

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set is a hands-on, cross-curricular STEM solution that engages students by providing the resources to design, build and program their creations while helping them develop essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. A Core Set supports two students and comes with a getting-started guide, video tutorials, and standards-aligned lesson plans. An eLearning program is included for educators.

The system includes the EV3 Intelligent Brick, a compact and powerful programmable computer that makes it possible to control motors and collect sensor feedback using the intuitive icon-based programming and data logging software that is delivered with the set.

The set is delivered in a sturdy storage bin with a sorting tray, three Servo Motors, five Sensors (Gyro, Ultrasonic, Color and 2x Touch), a EV3 Rechargeable DC Battery (with charging cable) and connecting cables.