FIRST Robotics


The Holy Spirit Middle School Robotics Team is offering a STEM camp for students in grades K-5 the week of June 17-21 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Students will spend time programming robots, working on engineering design challenges and participating in a variety of craft and science activities. The cost for camp is $120.

The Holy Spirit Robotics Team is excited to offer a STEM camp for students in grades K-2 and 3-5. The camp will meet from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. the week of June 17-21. Participants will be placed in groups of up to 6 students. There will be up to 18 spots available at each level.

Participants in grades K-2 will spend time each day building and programming with LEGO WeDo, which is the robot used for robotics in grades 1-3. There will be no more than two children in each section assigned to each LEGO WeDo kit. They will also participate in engineering challenges appropriate to their age. Possible challenges include building bridges with index cards, building tin foil boats and building a catapult with craft sticks. In addition, participants will be involved in various science and craft activities.

Participants in grades 3-5 will spend time each day programming a LEGO Mindstorms robot with a special focus on using the different sensors available. No more than two children in each section will be assigned to a robot. Participants will also be involved in a week long engineering challenge where they will build, design and shoot off their very own rocket. In addition, participants will spend time on various science and art activities.

You will be sent a payment link if there is room available at your level. Your spot will be held for one week after the payment link is sent.

Robotics 2019-2020

After a great first year, it’s time to start planning for our next robotics season. We plan early so we know how many teams to form and can purchase necessary materials. Last year, 60 students participated in the program and additional students were left on a waiting list. Students who pre-register are given two weeks to complete registration when it opens in July before we open it to the rest of the community. Teams will be formed in August or September based on the number of students signed up and the availability of robots and coaches.

Holy Spirit offers robotics at three levels based on student age. The cost is $100 per student. The money is used to register teams at the national and state levels, purchase team t-shirts and pay for the materials we use. Teams start meeting the first or second week of September. Click on the link below to learn more about the level you are interested in. Please go with your child’s CURRENT grade so that we can get accurate numbers for each level.

The links to pre-register are below. If you want more information about the program, please find your child’s level below. At the end of the page is a summary of how registration will work in July.

FIRST Lego League Junior (FLLJ)
This level is for students currently in kindergarten through second grade. It is a non competitive level with teams of 6 students. There needs to be at least one volunteer coach per team. We currently have materials for 3 teams. Teams attend one Expo that lasts for around 3 hours. Expo registration opens in late September and the date and location will be determined then. 

Students at this level meet for one hour one day a week starting the second week of September. Meeting times will be Monday or Wednesday from 3–4 p.m. or from 4–5 p.m. Teams use the Lego WeDo robots. Early meetings are spent learning about the year’s topic and doing Lego mini builds based on what has been learned. The last few sessions are spent building a model that will be taken to their Expo. At the Expo, they have a chance to see what other teams have done and present their model to the judges. Every team receives a certificate for their participation. Last year, the theme was “Mission Moon.” Teams learned about what humans need to live on the moon and then built a moon base.

If you would like to pre register your child, click the link below and fill out the form. Please fill out one form for each child interested. The first 18 students will be guaranteed a spot as long as there are coaches. Additional students will be placed on a waiting list.

FIRST Lego League (FLL)
This level is for students currently in grade 3-5 and it is a competitive level. Teams are composed of up to 8 students and they attend one tournament per season. We need two coaches per team at this level. We currently have materials for 3 teams at this level. Tournament registration opens in late September so the date and location for the tournament will be determined then. The tournament is a full day event. 

Teams work in three different areas at this level. They work to program Lego MindStorms robots to complete missions and score points on a game board designed by FIRST Robotics. They are judged on their robot construction and on their programming. In addition, they attend judging sessions focused on their understanding of FIRST Core Values and on a project they complete based on the current year’s topic. Last year, the theme was “In To Orbit” and teams were required to come up with an innovative solution to a problem humans might encounter during space travel. They had to present this solution to a judging panel.

Based on our experience last year, we are planning on offering two options at this level next year—a recreational level and a competitive level. The cost for both is the same as it costs us the same amount to register teams at the national and state levels. The recreational team will meet one day a week for two hours starting the second week of September. This level will be for students who are new to robotics or who want a more relaxed approach to the challenge. Team meetings will be Monday OR Wednesday from 3–5 p.m. Competitive teams will meet two days a week for two hours starting the first week of September. This level is for serious robotic students who are self motivated and want to be a serious competitor at their tournament. At least one team will meet Monday AND Wednesday from 3–5 p.m. If there is enough interest, we will have one team meet two evenings a week as well. 

The number of teams formed will depend on the number of pre-registered students and the availability of coaches. The first 24 students will be guaranteed a spot as long as we have coaches. If enough additional students register, we will try to form one more team. Otherwise, we will start a waiting list.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
This is a competitive level for students currently in grades six and seven. Tournaments are full day events and we attended two last season. Tournament registration opens in September and the dates and locations are determined at that point.

Teams at this level build a robot to play a game designed by FIRST. Meetings will be Monday and Wednesday from 3–5 p.m. starting the first week of September. There may be optional summer meetings. At the tournament, the team will compete both with and against other teams as they play the robot game. They are also judged on their Gracious Professionalism, their STEM outreach to their greater community, the connections they make to STEM professionals in their community, their robot innovations and their written code. There are optional awards they can choose to pursue. This year’s team, The Flamin’ Robots, won a Judge’s Award for the Gracious Professionalism and a Motivate Award for their work with the younger students in our community.

Team members with many different talents are needed to make a FIRST Tech team successful. At a minimum, teams need members who can build the robot, write code, use CAD and 3D printing, and keep an engineering notebook up to date. They can choose to pursue awards that involve reaching out and connecting to their STEM community, celebrating a coach or mentor and a variety of other topics. We currently have materials for one team of 8 students at this level and have 5 returning team members, so there are only 3 remaining slots. We will consider adding another team if enough interest is expressed during pre-registration.

We will open official registration in early July, when our next fiscal year begins. We cannot carry money over from the previous year, which is why we do it this way. A link will be sent to those who are guaranteed a spot because they preregistered as outlined below:

  • The first 18 students who preregistered for FLLJ (grades K-2)
  • The first 24 student who preregistered for FLL. If we add a team here, it will be the first 32 students.
  • The first 3 new students who preregistered for FTC. If we add a team here, it will be the first 11 new students.

After about 2 weeks, students who pre-registered but did not make the initial cut off will receive the link to register if spots are available at their level. In early August, we will put a note in the FYI offering any remaining spots to the wider Holy Spirit community.

Learn more about FIRST Robotics!

For more information about Holy Spirit Robotics, please contact Rebecca Dennis-Johnson.

Registered team members can access the team website here. You need to have a free Shutterfly account and have a student registered as a current team member to access this site.