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Learn how you can start your own team

6 essential steps to starting a FIRST LEGO League Jr. team:

1. Learn all about us

Each year in early August, FIRST LEGO League Jr. releases a new Challenge for teams that focuses on a scientific topic. Teams are sent on a journey of discovery to learn all they can about the topic, then present their findings in the form of a team poster and a LEGO model with motorized parts.

Core Values
While teams research their topic and create their posters and models, they are guided by the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values. This set of values, including sharing, respect for all, is what makes our Program so special. Our most important Core Value is “Have FUN!”

 

2. Form your team

Recruit 2 to 6 interested team members ages 6 to 10. A Coach is allowed to coach multiple teams. Each team must have at least 2 adult Coaches.

 

3. Register, Pay, and Order Materials

Once you have a team (you do not need all team member names yet), register your team.

Register

 

4. Find support resources

Locate your region’s FIRST LEGO League Jr. Partner who knows other FIRST teams, participating area schools, and local FIRST-friendly businesses that can help. He or she can help you form an organizational plan.

 

5. Learn about safety

At FIRST, student safety is always paramount. Every adult must become familiar with our Youth Protection Program (YPP). Take the time to watch our videos and read our youth protection materials.

 

6. Review Coach/Team Resources

Once your team is registered, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips on our Coach/Team Resource page to help you with everything from fundraising to just raising the level of fun on your team.

We give you a head start by announcing the theme months ahead of time. Even though you will not know the exact details of the Challenge, you can begin researching the theme with your team as soon as it is announced. Once the Challenge is released (August), registered teams will have access to all the season-specific documents (details of what the team is expected to complete for the season; information about how your team will be reviewed at an Expo).

Most teams spend about eight (8) weeks preparing their projects. Understand that your team’s Show Me poster and LEGO model must be ready before you attend an Expo.

6 essential steps to starting a FIRST LEGO League team:

1. Learn all about us

Each year in late August, FIRST LEGO League releases a new Challenge for teams that focuses on a scientific topic. Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and FIRST LEGO League Core Values:

Project
Teams are challenged to learn more about the science behind the real-world Challenge theme, then use their creativity to design a solution (or modify an existing solution) to solve the problem.

Robot Game
The teams are required to build and program an autonomous (no remote control) LEGO MINDSTORMS robot that can perform theme-based “mission” tasks on a table-top playing field. The missions require the robot to navigate, capture, transport, or deliver objects. The more missions completed, the more points teams earn.

Core Values
While teams work on the Project and Robot Game, they are guided by the FIRST LEGO League  Core Values. This set of values is what makes our Program so special. Teams are encouraged to compete like crazy but still respect their teammates, Coaches, and even help their “competitors.”  Our most important Core Value is “Have FUN!”

2. Form your team

Recruit up to 10* interested team members ages 9 to 14. Team members must not exceed the maximum age on January 1 of the year the Challenge is released.  Students can only be on one team, but a Coach is allowed to coach multiple teams.

* Some coaches may have more than 10 children wanting to join the team. If they are not in a position to form a second team, they must make the difficult decision to select the final 10 members.  We recognize this is not an easy choice. As such, we remind coaches who choose to include more than 10 members to respect all those coaches globally who follow FIRST LEGO League Participation Rules.

3. Register, Pay, and Order Materials

Once you have a team (you do not need all team member names yet), register your team at your national level. You can use the online step-by-step guide to the registration process for extra tips and tricks to help make the process easy. Every team needs:

Challenge Set (formerly known as Field Setup Kit) – the practice field for your robot, including an exclusive selection of LEGO bricks, dual lock fasteners, and a roll-out field mat. The Challenge Set changes with the new Challenge every season.
A LEGO MINDSTORMS set to build your robot

If your team already has a LEGO MINDSTORMS set, you are not required to buy the Robot Set. Also, you may share your Challenge Set with another team if you wish.

4. Find support resources

Forming a FIRST LEGO League requires funding. Locate your region’s Partner who knows other FIRST teams, participating area schools, and local FIRST-friendly businesses that can help with this. He or she can help you form an organizational and funding plan.

5. Learn about safety

At FIRST, student safety is always paramount. Every adult must become familiar with our Youth Protection Program. Watch our videos and read our youth protection materials.

6. Review Coach/Team Resources

Part of the fun is researching the Project and designing/building your robot. FIRST provides a wealth of information in our Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides, to fundraising ideas, or fun activities for your team. Once the Challenge is released, all the documents you need will be on this website (details of what the team is expected to complete for the season; information about how your team will be judged at a tournament).

Most teams spend about eight (8) weeks preparing for a tournament. Many new teams start by meeting twice a week for one to two hours. See how that works, and then adjust your meeting schedule if you need more or less time. Some teams work on both the Robot Game and the Project for part of each meeting. Others devote one meeting per week to each part of the Challenge. Work with your team to find the right balance. Understand that your team’s robot and Project must be ready before you attend a tournament.

7 essential steps to starting a FIRST Robotics Competition team:

1. Find support resources

First, familiarize yourself with the FIRST Robotics Competition. Then locate your region’s Regional Director or FIRST Senior Mentor. These people know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. He or she can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.

2. Enlist Coaches & Mentors

Each team needs at least one adult Mentor with technical expertise willing and motivated to “coach” the team through the build and competition season (and beyond). Also highly recommended are two or more other adults to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, and other tasks.

3. Register and Pay

Registering your team’s information makes you a part of the huge FIRST Robotics Competition community. You’ll begin receiving communications from FIRST, along with a temporary team number in preparation for event registration in the fall.  Create a team roster link to submit with your registration.  (Please note that completing this stage of the process does not commit you to becoming a team.)

Registering includes event registration and ordering the Kit of Parts. We’ve made it easy to pay your team’s fees with favorable terms, online payments, discounts for rookie teams, and more.

4. Build your team 

Find and invite at least 10 students who want to be part of a robotics team (the easiest part!). Be sure to emphasize that no technical skills are required, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Recruit all kinds of talents, not just engineering and electronics.

5. Raise funds

Your team will need a steady supply of funds. Recruit local businesses to sponsor you. Many of them may already have a relationship with FIRST.  We also have many fundraising opportunities you can explore. Grants are available for both rookie and underserved teams.

6. Learn about safety

At FIRST, student safety is always paramount. Every adult must become familiar with our Youth Protection Program (YPP). Take the time to watch our videos and read our youth protection materials.

7. Time to Build Robots!

Part of the fun is designing and building your robot and FIRST provides a wealth of information in our Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides, to fundraising ideas, or fun activities for your team.