Hello FLL-ers!

I hope all of you are aware of the Lego Google Moonbots competition – now in its fifth year, and growing.  You should all have got the launch e-mail from First LEGO League HQ  in Machester NH on or about March 17.  About 400 teams registered for the competition by the deadline, and many have now submitted 3-minute Video Essays on Why Humans Should Return to the Moon For Good.  There are about ten FLL World Festival teams and four Virginia FLL teams in the Moonbots competition, including two McLean Robotics Institute (MRI) teams.  There is a short list at the bottom of the e-mail.  They all deserve your support.


Each Moonbots teams researched the assigned topic, and then used their creativity to package the message in an amusing way.  This is just like the research project component of the FLL competition, where teams have to do good research and learn to convey the information effectively in just 5 minutes. 


MRI is fielding two teams for​ ​this competition -- Pi In The Sky & More Rational Than Pi.  The team names are both Pi jokes.  Pi is inherently Irrational (meaning it cannot be expressed accurately as a fraction), though there are rational approximations (22/7 etc.).  The two teams work together, and yet compete.  They playfully poke fun at each other in their videos.


Pi In The Sky uses the Ukraine crisis as a lead off to a Senate hearing into space launch and servicing vulnerabilities.  This provides a perfect backdrop for reviewing the advantages of permanent lunar habitation.  The Pi In The Sky Video Essay "Oh! To Be A Lune" can be found at or


More Rational Than Pi's essay, "Luniversity" is about an imaginary X Prize Competition for the first University to set up a campus on the Moon.  At the end of a sleepy history class, the enthusiastic students convince the Dean about the utility and value of lunar habitation. You have to love the sleepers in the class.  The More Rational Than Pi Video Essay "Luniversity" can be found at  or


You will find a fuller explanation of the respective plots under the About tab of the YouTube videos below.  I hope you enjoy the videos and the familiar faces from many FLL Championship tournaments.


The top 25 teams worldwide will advance to the finals.  The teams need your support.  We would love it if you could share these videos with your friends, families, college students, advanced kids who learn to sleep in class before reaching college, teachers, deans and candidates for political office (including head of household), grandparents and other people with time and interest.​


For those who are willing to help the cause of science, please share your favorite videos/shortlinks from this competition to your Facebook page, or share them via your favorite social media platform (Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+​, Twitter etc.).  It doesn’t have to be our team – helping any Virginia-DC team would be great.

Also, remember to like the videos if they capture your fancy, and leave comments on YouTube.


VA Moonbots Teams:




Team Link

Team Video Essay

Lord of the Bricks

Mechanicsville, VA

RoBoLTZ Luna

Lorton, VA

More Rational Than Pi

McLean, VA

Pi In The Sky

McLean, VA


FLL World Festival Teams (US):



Team Link

Team Video Essay


Huntsville AL

Space Pandas

Owens Cross Roads AL

Everyday Heroes

Mesa AZ

Exit 5 Robotics

Livingston NJ

Electric Dreams

Erie PA

Technical Difficulties

Plano TX


FLL World Festival Teams (International):



Team Link

Team Video Essay


Alexandria, Egypt

Dutch Delta



Bangalore, India


Concepción, Chileán




Currently the MRI teams videos are the two most popular in the entire competition.  They have been viewed thousands of times.  I hope you find them fun as well.  There are many other great teams.  You can also search for these teams on YouTube directly or reach them from the Moonbots  teams page.


Watch and Learn!



​Nari Narayanan

Anant S Narayanan
Founder & Executive Director

McLean Robotics Institute
McLean VA 22102
202-421-3826 (cell)
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