Mentors are high school students or adults who provide technical assistance and guidance to a team. Often a single person fills both the coach and mentor roles. Sometimes a single person coaches several teams while each team has their own mentor. Sometimes it is reversed. Mentors give FIRST® LEGO® League participants the opportunity to explore scientific principles and practices while working with a positive role model.
What kind of practice space does a FIRST® LEGO® League team need?
Teams need enough space to build and test the robot on the FIRST® LEGO® League playing field (contained in the Challenge Kit). The playing field is a 8′ x 4′ mat upon which LEGO® pieces and various elements are arranged to create the Challenge missions.
Additional materials (such as two-by-fours) must be purchased separately to build a border around the playing field. Setup can be as simple as clearing an area on the floor, or your team may opt to build an official FIRST® LEGO® League table (see the Challenge rules for details). Some teams have found it advantageous to share a playing field with other teams in their area.
What kind of computer is needed for a FIRST® LEGO® League team?
Teams must have access to either a Mac or a PC with an internet connection. Internet access and a valid email address are mandatory to maintain contact with FIRST® LEGO® League throughout the Challenge season. The computer is used to develop programs for the team’s robot. Programs are easily downloaded to the programmable LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robot controller via a USB cable.
If your team attends a local event or state tournament, you will need an on-site computer for the day of the competition. A laptop is best. Robot programs are often modified to accommodate the specific conditions of the tournament setting and to improve robot performance.
What kind of training resources are available for FIRST® LEGO® League coaches and mentors?
New Coach Information – This document gives an overview of what new coaches need to know.
FIRST® LEGO® League Kickoff Materials from the Microsoft Kickoff Event:
Are there any special skills required to participate?
The best thing about FIRST® LEGO® League is that all skill levels are welcome – technical and nontechnical. Teams need all kinds of skills and creativity to succeed. What are you good at? Chances are we have a job for you. And we’ll probably teach you a few new ones while you’re with us.
The most successful coaches are people with at least an interest in science and technology, and in helping kids discover and learn. But we can’t emphasize enough that no special technical skills are required. Anyone who wants to be a coach will receive all the training and help they need.
FIRST® LEGO® League welcomes every student, with or without special skills. Youth team members are encouraged to bring any skills or interests they already have, but most importantly a desire to learn and solve problems as a team.
As our coaches say, “This is the only sport where if you show up, you can play.”