Posted by: Yin Chang | May 7, 2013

Jr. FIRST® LEGO® League & FIRST® LEGO® League: Quick summary of what to expect

What is it? How do the kids get involved? Timeline? What’s next? Read on if you have these questions….

Both Jr. FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) & FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) are Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs put out by US FIRST, a non-profit organization founded by American Inventor and Entrepreneur Dean Kamen. Jr. FLL is a non-competitive STEM program for ages 6 to 9. FLL is a competition using Mindstorm for ages 9-14.

Select which one you’re interested in and click for more information:

FIRST LEGO League information – Registration began on May 6 and closes mid-September. We would strongly encourage you to register EARLY (before August 1).

Jr. FIRST LEGO League Information – Registration starts in August. We will begin sending out information closer to that date.

Need help finding a team or finding talent for an existing team, complete our team matching form BEFORE May 31. Click here.

Some common answers to common questions from our perspective:

1-      Similar to sports, some training is involved, but US FIRST provides much of that information and motivated teams in FLL really get it together quickly.

2-      Coaches are usually parents and sometimes teachers, but most often parents. You can have a single coach or share coaching responsibility with other parents (but keep in mind you want one “main coach” to help direct and coordinate everything.

3-      You DO NOT need any technical experience and neither do your children.

4-      In Jr. FLL, the team may need a little more guidance due to the age, but in FLL, the kids should be fairly independent and only need a nudge to remind them of deadlines coming up. We strongly discourage too much help from parents because it takes away the experience from the children. In the case of FLL, too much parental help or interference will most assuredly lead to disqualification during the competition as the teams must compete independently. The teams really do it themselves.

5-      How frequently do you need to meet? According to US First, you only need to meet about 6-9 times for Jr. FLL. We believe that’s true. However, if this is your first time forming and coaching a team, you may want to give yourselves some leeway to meet more times. For FLL, teams are expected to meet 1 or 2 times a week for 6-8 weeks once the challenge is released. How long your team meets may depend on many factors such as when your team plans to attend a tournament (dates vary in each region, so you’ll have to check the schedule).

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