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Idaho State University

Rules & Regulations


Team Requirements

Teacher Sponsors & Head Coaches

The Teacher Sponsor serves as the main contact between Idaho TECH and the School and is responsible for registration fees and the LEGO® kits. The Teacher Sponsor is not required to be the head coach for a team. The head coach may be a teacher, parent, or community member.

Head Coach Responsibilities:

  • Encourage students to learn about applicable science and engineering concepts with the aid of Idaho TECH Activities and/or other learning sources
  • Help team access resources (online learning sources, order additional parts, etc.)
  • Present guiding questions as students go through the engineering design process
  • Ensure that design guidelines are followed
  • Aid in the overall organization of the team
  • OBSERVE at the Engineering Design Competition

Head Coach Requirements:

  • Each Idaho TECH team must have one coach and may have a maximum of two coaches
  • A single person may serve as the coach for more than one team
  • Coaches may NOT construct or assist with constructing any portion of the Mars Rover model, poster display, or presentation
  • A successful coach does not have to have experience in engineering or robotics


Team Advisors/Student Mentors

Team Advisors and Mentors may be parents, community members, professional engineers or students who assist the coach in supporting the team. Technical advisors have additional knowledge relevant to science and engineering concepts and are a valuable resource. Often mentors are students who have participated in Idaho TECH in the past.

Team Advisor & Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Team advisors and mentors are highly encouraged, but optional components of the team
  • Be available to answer questions from students, but do not decide which direction the team should take
  • Do NOT directly assist in construction of the Mars Rover model, poster display, or PowerPoint presentation
  • OBSERVE at the engineering design competition – do not influence the team during any event


Student Engineering Team

Each team is limited to four to six members that are currently in 4th – 6th grade. All team members work on all aspects of the Engineering Design Process. However, for each of the events at the Engineering Design Competition, each team must select the following roles. A different person may fill each role for each event.

Rover Driver
Drives and control the Mars Rover.

Rover Assistant
Guide the Rover Driver through the “Blind Driving” text, assist with pneumatics, upright or move the rover if the rover turns over or becomes stuck. Rover Assistant is the ONLY team member allowed to physically handle the vehicle during the tests.

Emergency Mechanic
Declare a breakdown during an event after confirming with team members and make necessary repairs in the event of a minor breakdown. (All team members may contribute in the event of a major breakdown)


Material Requirements

Lego Kits Provided

The NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium provides two LEGO® kits for use by each Idaho TECH team. Teams are allowed to use any and/or all of the kit components in the construction of their Rover (it is not required to use every component in your design). Kits are to be returned to the ISGC at the end of the program in the same condition as when they were received. Provided LEGO® kits include:

Kit “R” – LEGO® Manufacturing Systems Kit (Kit “R” = red container) with 15 building cards (1-15) and 1 green instruction card located under the tray insert
Kit “Y” – LEGO® Pneumatics Kit (Kit “Y” = yellow container) with 2 building cards and 1 green instruction card located under the tray insert

Do NOT glue or distort provided LEGO® pieces together! All pieces (except tubing and string) must be returned in the same condition as provided. Any damage to provided LEGO® pieces will result in a charge to replace the damaged LEGOs®.


Non-Lego Components

Each Engineering Team is allowed to use an unlimited amount of materials on the Non-Lego® Allowable Elements list in the construction of their Rover.

  • Any non-LEGO® pieces not listed are NOT permissible in the construction of a Rover model.
  • Funds for non-LEGO® elements are the responsibility of each Idaho TECH team.
  • There is no limit on the amount of Non-LEGO® Allowable Elements that may be used; however, these elements should be common household items and must be itemized in the budget in the Lab Notebook using the categories listed.

Non-LEGO® Allowable Elements


Additional Lego Parts

Each Engineering Team may purchase a maximum of $50 in additional LEGO® components (actual costs and/or estimated costs if donated). Additional LEGO®s are purchased directly from the vendor by the Idaho TECH team.

NO geared-down, gear reduction motors or alternate power sources are allowed! Teams MUST use the LEGO® motors provided (IR Power Functions for Pocatello and Moscow, and 9-volt simple motors for Twin Falls). This also applies to extra motors purchased within the $50 additional LEGO® budget.

LEGO Manual, part 1

LEGO Manual, part 2

LEGO Manual, part 3

Idaho TECH Manual