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Apprentice Level Rules & Information

First year teams DO NOT have to participate in the Apprentice level before registering for the Professional Level. The Apprentice level has fewer challenges and is designed for teams that have not had much experience working with the Mindstorms equipment or are having trouble coming up with the minimum eight team members required for a Professional level team.

Apprentice Level Participation:
The Apprentice level teams will have the chance to attempt 3 Apprentice level missions. These missions are designed specifically for beginners and have multiple levels of scoring for easy entry with stages of additional challenge. In addition to the missions, Apprentice level teams will be judged for Spirit & Sportsmanship and have the opportunity to participate in the Table & Notebook Display. Apprentice level teams can attempt Professional level courses, as time is available on the course, but may score NO official points.

Each team may choose to participate in a single mission or in multiple missions and events. All teams will be judged for Spirit and Sportsmanship. Each mission and event is individually and independently scored and judged. There is one cumulative award for Apprentice level teams. It is called the RCX Award. First, second and third places for the RCX Award will be given to the Apprentice level teams that score the highest cumulative points in the three missions, Spirit & Sportsmanship, and Table & Notebook Display. There will be a similar award for NXT teams called the NXT award. **In order to be eligible for the RCX Award teams must complete 2 of the 3 Apprentice level missions, enter a Table and Notebook Display, and be judged for Spirit and Sportsmanship.

Apprentice level teams will consist of 5 - 10 team members in 4th - 8th grades or 9 - 14 years of age. One unique coach (18 or over) must sponsor each team. More coaches and supervision are encouraged but one unique coach must represent each team. The coach does not have to be a teacher. The coach can be any adult (18 or over) who supervises, provides support, and represents one unique team. Teams may be formed from any combination of students in 4th - 8th grades representing any combination of schools, homeschools, Girl Scout/Boy Scout troops, after-school groups, etc.

Each Apprentice level team must have at least 5 and no more than 10 pre-registered members. No exceptions to this rule. The MINDSTORMS Challenge is designed to encourage collaboration and cooperation within a design team. In order to design, build, program the robots, and prepare the Notebook & Table Display we feel that the minimum number of students on an Apprentice level team is 5. Name badges, certificates, and prizes are all made ahead of time for each pre-registered student. Please make sure that you have your team members' names and information correct when you register.

Each Apprentice level team may use the parts from one Lego Robotics MINDSTORMS Invention System kit (Versions: 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 or Robolab Team Challenge Set - cost approximately $225). Only the parts contained in one of these kits may be used to create a robot. Each of these kits has a slight variation of LEGO parts. The main electronic parts are identical. **No additional parts from other LEGO sets or non-LEGO parts are allowed.

The coach will bring the team RCX to the registration table on game day so that the serial number can be registered. The RCX serial number will be checked at every mission to ensure that the same RCX is being used throughout the day.

There are no limits to the software language used to program your robot.

No form of remote control can be used in the missions including the Lego remote control that can be purchased separately. Each robot must be programmed to perform autonomously and can have NO human contact of any kind during the mission unless it is specified in the mission guidelines.

The links below will take you to inventory lists for the following kits:

The MINDSTORMS equipment can be purchased at several locations. Below are a couple of links for online shopping:

Attention Registered Teams: If you have a question about a mission or a challenge please click on the "Questions?" link to the left and fill out the FAQ form. This method will help us answer questions more efficiently and archive questions and comments for use in future planning. Please do not send questions through e-mail. Thank you!

The MINDSTORMS Challenge is free to participants and jointly sponsored by Wichita State University’s Colleges of Engineering and Education, and Boeing Charitable Trust Co.