Washington State has around 200 FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. teams each year. Teams are formed in schools, community organizations, and neighborhoods. They can be formed by any interested adult willing to facilitate team logistics.
Within Washington, many FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. teams are formed through schools, so the first place to look for opportunities to join a team is with your child’s school. Generally, the school-based teams are open only to students attending that institution because interest often exceeds capacity. If your child’s school does not currently have a team, you may want to work with a teacher or administrator there to help form a team within the school.
Other Washington teams are formed through community organizations such as 4-H, YMCA, Scouts, or Boys & Girls Clubs. Generally, this is only one of many activities that the organization facilitates for its members, but if your child is interested in one of these organizations overall, this might be an avenue to pursue in your local area.
The remaining teams in Washington are formed through homeschool groups, religious organizations or neighborhood groups of friends. While these groups are not specifically closed to other students, they do not usually engage in recruiting members.
Since finding an opportunity with an existing team may be difficult, many experienced coaches and parents advise families new to the program to start their own team. The benefits to your child and for those who have an opportunity to participate are well worth the effort. If you need additional resources or encouragement, contact us at FIRST® Washington.
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How do you join an existing team?
If your school or organization has a FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. team, approach the coach and see if there is room for another student and if the deadline has passed.
If your child’s school or organization does not have FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. team, you may want to work with a teacher or administer to help form a team within the school.
How long is the season?
The FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. season opens in May and can last through April depending on how much your team advances.
I can’t find a team near me. Can I start one?
Absolutely, the best way to join a FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. program is to start your own team. Ask administers of your school or organization if there is a team, if not find a teacher or other coach suitable to guide the students through the program. Inform your administer that FIRST® is a collaborative partnership with private industry professionals and educators to inspire youths towards STEM.
If there is no school-based team near you, consider looking within youth-based organizations near you.
What are the FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. Core Values?
We express the FIRST® philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition through our Core Values:
– Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
– Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
– Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
– Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
– Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
– Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!