On your mark, get set, flow!

Drink in the 2017/2018 HYDRO DYNAMICS season and learn all about water – how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it. In the 2017/2018 FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge, students age 9 to 14 will make a splash with HYDRO DYNAMICS. What might become possible when we understand what happens to our water? FLL teams at Empow Studios participate, compete, and cheer on over 100,000 students across the world to help the environment. Each team will get judged on the Robot Game, Project, and Core Values. Come join us! This year’s challenge details will be released on August 29th, 2017. Stay tuned!

FLL Challenges are based on topics such as nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for the handicapped population, and transportation. By designing Challenges around such topics, participants are exposed to potential career paths within a chosen Challenge topic, in addition to solidifying the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles that naturally come from participating in the program.

This season concluded December 2017. Check back for new teams this Summer!

What is FIRST LEGO League?

Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem, and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.

It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply STEM / STEAM concepts, plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s signature Core Values.

Campers Lined Up at Empow Studios

What is the FLL Challenge this year?

This year’s FLL Challenge is called “HYDRO DYNAMICS” with more details to be released on August 29th. An FLL Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with at least one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values. Teams may then attend an official tournament, hosted by our FIRST LEGO League Partners.

The Core Values

The FIRST LEGO League Core Values are the cornerstones of the program. They are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FIRST LEGO League from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.

  • We are a team.
  • We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
  • We know our coaches and mentors don’t have all the answers; we learn together.
  • We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
  • What we discover is more important than what we win.
  • We share our experiences with others.
  • We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
  • We have FUN!

About the program

Our Objective

Our #1 focus at FLL is to build teamwork, solve problems, learn new technologies, and have fun. It’s important to note that winning is not our primary focus, but winning may be an outcome of an awesome display of teamwork.

Schedule & Cost

FLL Teams meet weekly, for 2 hours at the Studio. These practices will enable kids to participate in a full range of skills including preparation, design-thinking, strategy, robotics, programming, engineering, team-building activities, graphic design, web design, and more.

Weekly practices are scheduled for the following days / times:

  • Saturdays 10:15am–12:15pm
  • Sundays 9:00am-11:00am

FLL fee per team member is $500, but you can make monthly payments of $100. This fee covers weekly practices from Aug 26th – Dec 17th. If we pass state and/or national qualifications, there would be an additional $30/wk for practices starting on the first week of January.

The $500 fee also covers the following:

  • 2 Coaches & 1 Advisor
  • Robotics space
  • Registration fees
  • FLL equipment, models, and playing mat
  • Plentiful LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 equipment
  • 2 tables for practicing
  • t-shirts for the kids
  • web hosting for team webpages


FLL team members must be turning at least 9 years of age by Aug. 29th in order to compete. Maximum age is 14. Team size is 5 to 10 members.

Team participation

Each team member must make every effort to attend each practice. All parents need to contribute in some facet. At a minimum, parents need to do their due diligence in making sure their child is coming to class prepared and doing their part.

Empow provides a coach, assistant coach, and an overseeing advisor.

Additionally, each team requires some parents to be a part of the coaching team as coaches, mentors, and team helpers. The coaching team can be defined as the following:

  • Assistant Coach – must attend all team meetings, and contribute to the development of the team in and out of the studio. Coaches oversee that all team members are contributing and help drive the team to reach their self-defined goals.
  • Mentor – must attend team meetings, and own one or more specific roles.
  • Team Helper – attends some meetings, and contributes to one or more specific roles.

Each FLL team also has a need for communication & admin roles. They can be defined below:

  • Team Coordinator – In charge of communication between families for events, at-home activities, extra practices, etc. Also plays a role of administrator, for following up on action items and logging information into the FLL database.
  • Community Liaison– In charge of finding community helpers and resources. Helps with the project focus, finding people in the industry to help give kids real-life feedback and answer questions.

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Robot Competition at Empow Studios