Updated August 4, 2020

As we navigate this unusual and challenging season, we will be considering guidance from the CDC, state/local authorities, and FIRST to cater to the needs of our communities. Updates and announcements will be sent to registered coaches through our newsletter and posted to this webpage.

As you get started, this guide is designed to provide suggestions and options, but it is intentionally not prescriptive. Considerations for what is best for your local situation should be prioritized. Local health and safety regulations and guidance should precede any of the recommendations in this guide.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, submit them here.

Update: September 2020
As many schools start virtually and in-person gatherings are still restricted, VA+DC FIRST LEGO League has put together resources for teams as they navigate the season during COVID-19.

Every team is going to approach the problems presented by COVID-19 differently, because our VA+DC teams are formed in a variety of ways (school, home, community) across a large region! This is a growing list of ways in which teams in our area are handling the robot game. Many of these ideas depend on a team’s situation, so the list is made up of suggestions and is not prescriptive. Let us know what you come up with!

If your team can meet in person…
– Practice all guidelines from the CDC and state/ local health agencies (practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands and materials often)
– Purchase extra RePLAY Challenge Set through your team’s FIRST dashboard to allow for more social distancing or different meeting locations
– Meet in large or outdoor spaces (garages, gyms, etc) to allow for more social distancing
– Work in consistent cohorts to reduce exposure. Groups can meet virtually to catch each other up and plan their next steps.

If your team cannot meet in person…
Mission Models: Deliver one “set” of numbered bags to each team member. Have a virtual build party. Coach then collects the models. Learn more -pg2
Mission Strategy: Use the FLL Tutorial Sketch Planner and the (unofficial) Game Scorer to plan the team’s mission strategy.
Robot Design: Have members use Studio 2.0 by BrickLink to create the teams robot in CAD. Designs can be duplicated, which could be helpful with documentation.
Pseudocode: Have members work on pseudocode for missions using either the RePLAY wireframe grid or the FLL Tutorial Sketch Planner (w/ measurements!)
Remotely Programming: Use “Chrome Remote Desktop” or other platform to have members remotely control the computer connected to the robot. Learn more -pg3
Remote Robot Game Practice: Get tips on how to run a remote robot game practice. Members could email code to whoever has the game table ,then team could work on testing/revising during a virtual meeting. Learn more -pg5
Multiple robots: With many schools and organizations not meeting in person, there may be unused robots/ kits that can be distributed to team members. There are grant opportunities that could allow teams to purchase extra equipment.

Update: August 2020
Virginia+DC FIRST LEGO League announced that the tournament styles will be hybrid, or fully remote. Hybrid will consist of in person robot rounds and remote judging while fully remote events will consist of ALL aspects of the competition remain online and remote.  Read more here. See an updated season overview.

Update: July 2020
Virginia+DC FIRST LEGO League made the announcement that it would be pushing back the FLL Challenge competition season to January-February 2021. Read more here. See an updated season overview.