Apprentice Missions are basic challenges designed for entry-level teams that are just getting started. The Apprentice Missions are the same each year: Line Follower, Table Runner, and Ramp-It. NOTE: First year teams DO NOT have to participate in the Beginner Level. In fact, teams are encouraged to participate in either the Intermediate or Expert Division.
Professional Missions are different each year. Professional Missions are designed and built by College of Engineering student groups and undergo a rigorous review by professional engineers to ensure accuracy in measurements, drawings, and presentation. Intermediate and Expert Level teams compete on Professional Missions. These Missions will be posted to the website on January 10, 2009, and will be available on Trial Day, February 7, 2009, for teams to practice.
All Missions, both Apprentice and Professional, have a five (5) minute time limit. ALL missions have multiple levels of scoring.
NEW: This year, teams will participate at one of the following levels: Expert, Intermediate, and Beginner. Please read carefully to determine which level is appropriate for your team. You will be required to register your team in one of these levels when registering for the Challenge
Beginner Level -- Beginner teams will compete on three Apprentice Missions. The Apprentice missions are designed specifically for beginners. Each has multiple levels of scoring for easy entry with stages of additional challenge. In order to be considered for Beginner Level Awards, a team must score points on all three Apprentice Missions and complete the Table Display and Notebook, and Spirit and Sportsmanship. Beginner teams must consist of 5-10 students.
Intermediate Level -- Intermediate teams will compete on the Professional Missions. In order to be considered for Intermediate Level Awards, a team must score points on three Professional Missions and complete the Presentation, Table Display and Notebook, and Spirit and Sportsmanship. (Each team may run all Professional Missions, but only the scores from the best three courses will count towards the total score.) Intermediate teams must consist of 8-15 students.
Expert Level -- Expert teams will compete on the Professional Missions. In order to be considered for the Expert Level Awards, a team must score points on five Professional Missions and complete the Presentation, Table Display and Notebook, and Spirit and Sportsmanship. (Each team may run all Professional Missions, but only the scores from the best five courses will count towards the total score.) Expert teams must consist of 8-15 students.
The table below helps to clarify the requirements for each level:
All team members must be currently enrolled in grades 4th - 8th, or be 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 team may use only one RCX/NXT throughout the day to build robots that complete missions. The coach will bring the team RCX/NXT to the registration table on game day so that the serial number can be registered. The RCX/NXT serial number will be checked at every mission to ensure that the same RCX/NXT is being used throughout the day. ANY OFFICIAL LEGO PARTS CAN BE USED TO BUILD ROBOTS. This includes an unlimited number and kinds of motors, sensors, tires, bricks, etc. (Packing used in LEGO kits or any other items that are not "official LEGO" parts cannot be used.)
There are no limits to the software language that can be 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. Anyone using a Bluetooth device to control any NXT will be disqualified.
Points will ONLY be given when a team states to the judges that they are making an official run for points. Teams may make TWO official runs and will be awarded the points for the highest of the two runs.
Teams may practice on the mission boards at the judges’ discretion. Priority will be given to teams that are ready to run the course for points (official runs). The time period and number of sequential practice runs is up to the judges’ discretion based on the time available and the number of teams waiting in line for practice runs. All judges’ decisions are FINAL.
Teams making official runs will have priority! Any team currently making a practice run will be "bumped". The bumped team will be able to “stand-on-deck” for the next practice run on that course.