Relic Recovery Outreach


Each year, Lord of the Bricks brings our robots, Lego builds, and programming tools out to the MLK Boys & Girls club to show the kids our different approach to engineering, as well as to teach them programming logic.  These students are low-income minority students. Every year, we enjoy a positive and consistent engagement with these student, encouraging them to look past their current situations, and explore the outside of the box!

Richmond Technology Awards Coach’s Nomination/Finalist

Each year, the Richmond Technology Council recognizes technology innovators in our City through a selection and awards process. They hold a "Meet the Finalist" event that is invitation-only, in order to unveil the finalists in each of seven awards categories.  With over 100 nominations this year, this was a tough competition!  

This year, our Coach, Shari Robinson, received the honor of being one of six finalists for the award of Innovation in Education.  This distinction is awarded to the educator or program that provides exceptional technology leadership and encourages students to pursue higher education or training in science, technology, engineering and math.  Winners were unveiled at the annual RichTech Gala (http://richtechgala.com/) on May 10, 2017.   While Coach Shari did not win, it was a true honor to have been named as a finalist for this award.

These events are highly attended by some of the most innovative companies in the Richmond area.  Our Coach, of course, took the opportunity last night to network with these representatives in order to get sponsorship for our FTC team.  


Pierian Spring Academy of Arts & Sciences STEM Enrichment Program

Lord of the Bricks, through its partnership with Homeschool Resources Group, and its private school Pierian Spring Academy of Arts & Science, works with the school to offer students a STEM enrichment program during the day at least twice per week.  During this time, we are able to assist students with math, Science, and technology activities to strengthen their knowledgebase.

FIRST Global Advisory Team – Team Suriname

Lord of the Bricks is proud to have been the advising team to FIRST Global team Suriname, the international robotics team from South America! We helped them to achieve their goals towards competing in the FIRST Global H2O challenge this July in Washington DC. This was an extreme honor to be helping another nation advance into robotics.  There is only one team from each country admitted into the FIRST Global competition; so it was even MORE important for us to take our role as Advisory Team seriously! Each week, we checked in with our team, and made sure their timelines were realistic, and their questions were answered.  

Team Suriname ended the competition with a rank of 49 out of 163.  We could not have been any prouder!




      Lord of the Bricks Open Houses

This year, our team held multiple open houses to recruit new team members. As a result, our team size grew from four to 11 team members – the largest Lord of the Bricks FTC team we have ever had!      

Lil O’Zone Build Space

Through an amazing collaboration between the Homeschool Resources Group and the Lil O’Zone, Lord of the Bricks is the grateful recipient of some truly awesome build space!  While this isn’t our first location, this space is particularly easy to access, and has allowed us the most flexibility of all of our locations. The very best part…there is heating AND air!!  Our FLL, FTC, and Jr FLL teams are all able to meet within the space. As well, we are more easily able to host more public events, and are readily visible by visitors to our space. We could not be any more appreciative of our sponsors!

FTC Workshops Planning

This year marked the first year that the FTC Workshops were hosted by ECPI University, on both their Richmond and Manassas campuses.  Our coach, along with Coach Mark of team GearedUp, was called upon to assist with the development of the Workshop curriculum. The two teams worked with ECPI’s Director of Academic Affairs Matt Grinsell to come up with the topics and content for the 2017 Workshops.

FTC Workshops Engineering Notebook Presentation 

ECPI University

Our Coach was asked to participate in the Workshops by presenting the Engineering Notebook sessions.  During the sessions, she and Judge Lisa gave some great advice to teams as to what the engineering notebook is, why it is important, and how to put one together.

FTC Meet the Field – VCU School of Engineering

October 14, 2017

This year, as with every year, Lord of the Bricks attended the FTC Meet the Field event at VCU School of Engineering, Saturday, October 14, 2017.  FTC Meet the Field is a chance for all interested FTC teams to test their designs and work on any issues they may have using the actual playing field.  We spent the day working on our electronics, chassis testing, and autonomous jewel arm. We also meet other teams, and gave academic advice to other parents whose team members were planning on pursuing engineering careers.  We definitely enjoyed ourselves!

Home Educators Association of Virginia 2017 Convention – Greater Richmond Convention Center 

June 8-10, 2017

Held June 8-10, 2017 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia, the HEAV convention is one of the largest {and best} homeschool conventions in the country and provides new and continuing home educating families with an amazing plethora of opportunities for inspiration, enrichment, information, and shopping for new and used curriculum, books and other resources.   The convention hosts more than 13,000 participants, and over 350 vendors. As one of several homeschool robotics teams, we make it a point to volunteer at the exhibit space each year. This event offered huge exposure to our teams, inviting students from all over to explore the opportunities that FIRST has to offer!

RavenCon 2017   

DoubleTree by Hilton; Williamsburg, Virginia

April 28-30, 2017

RavenCon is an annual American science fiction convention founded in 2006 and held, originally, in Richmond, Virginia, but now hosted in Williamsburg, Virginia. The name "RavenCon" was chosen as a tribute to author Edgar Allan Poe, who lived in Richmond for a time.  Each year, Lord of the Bricks packs up our team and our robot, and put on a show for the attendees. We answer questions, give advice for getting involved, and even meet potential contributors to our program. This year, we met the ARDC 

of Region One Sciences (also the STARFLEET: the International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. Pinterest Admin), Michael Lewis, who has been so gracious as to help spread the word about our Team!


Rise With the Machines: Saturday Morning Robotics Demo

Wake up to the sights and sounds of our future overlords chugging, whizzing, and battling it out as local robotics clubs strut their mechanical stuff! This event is fun for all ages.

Lord of the Bricks Robotics Team

FIRST Tech Challenge Team Engineering Collaborative (FTC TEC) Network

Fostering Peer to Peer Learning

Networked teams have the opportunity to learn, and a chance to facilitate learning for others through the use of Google Hangouts and a Google Community.  Hangouts may have specific topics or just be open for collaboration and discussion. Any networked team is welcome to host or participate in the scheduled hangouts.  In addition to meetings there are opportunities for teams to reach out to others to get or give individual assistance using the Team Directory. We welcome teams to further connect on their own schedules for team-to-team training, collaboration and socialization!   

Currently there are member teams in 35 States and 8 Countries!

FTC Teams in Virginia Google Group

October 14, 2017

As active FIRST Lego League teams, Lord of the Bricks 7039 and Team Absolute Zero 12096 recognized the difficulty that exists on the FIRST Tech Challenge level with passing information among Virginia Teams, that does not exist at the FLL level.  As a result, we teamed up, and created a Google Group for FTC teams in Virginia, and share the administration activities. This is a place for teams to share information with each other in the same manner as they would with the vadcfll listserv. There are currently 41 teams participating in the list.  

FLL Mentoring

Since the beginning of Lord of the Bricks in 2011, we have continuously run an FLL robotics team.  As with our FTC team, our FLL team is open to any student seeking a robotics team. Our FLL team meets each Wednesday evening at 6pm, and again, alongside our FTC team, on Saturdays at 3pm.  Members of our team who have previously been on FLL routinely volunteer to mentor this team to help them to achieve their competition goals. Teamwork and gracious professionalism are two Core Values that we assist them in learning!

Jr. FLL Mentoring

Since 2012, Lord of the Bricks has continuously run a Jr. FLL robotics team.  Our Jr FLL is run in 6-week sessions so that we can host multiple groups of students.  This team meets on Saturdays at 1:30, prior to our FLL and FTC team meetings. Members of our team who have previously been on Jr. FLL and FLL routinely volunteer to mentor this team to help them to grow and learn throughout their discovery process.

Fundraising Day – October 11, 2017

Our team took advantage of the school holiday by gathering the team members together to visit area businesses.  We pre-called several businesses, and set up appointments to stop in to give our presentation. In return, these businesses rewarded us with a tour of their facilities.  We received a strong show of support through the donation of in-kind items. We also continued to follow up for potential donations.

While we were out, we went on the cold-call several businesses in the vicinity.  We stopped in to several businesses, receiving donations of money and items for us to attempt to monetize.

Schwann’s Cares Meal Delivery Fundraiser

Lord of the Bricks hosted a Schwann’s meal delivery fundraiser to raise funds for our competition season.  For all orders from our Team’s page during the fundraiser, Schwann’s agreed to give us back 20% on food orders, and 40% on gift card orders.

Panera Bread Fundraising Night

October 26, 2017

Lord of the Bricks hosted a fundraising night at Panera Bread to raise both funds for and awareness of our team.  We invited homeschoolers from all around the area, as well as family and friend supporters.

FIRST Community of Experts

Social Networking


You can easily find Lord of the Bricks Robotics on one of our social networking sites!








Twitter: @LordoftheBricks


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr83o3A2__pfcSRZg5z7zfw

FLL to FTC team member transition program

This year, Lord of the Bricks is implementing an FLL to FTC team member transition program.  At the end of the FLL season, FLL members who will soon be eligible for our FTC program have been invited to apprentice with our FTC team.  These potential new members will work with the Team to learn the ins and outs of an FTC to help them better understand what FTC has to offer.  During the following season, members may continue to apprentice with FTC, remain with FLL, or dual compete in both programs.

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