The cost to participate ranges from $1,400 for new teams to $850 for returning teams. Your costs may be lower if you are able to get some items donated.
One of the major purchases is a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 Robotics Kit. This kit provides a small programmable LEGO EV3 computer, and enough motors and parts to make a machine. If your team already has access to a kit, you can use that kit and not purchase a new one. Returning teams are able to reuse the kit each year.
Invoices for the FIRST® LEGO® season are emailed to the team lead coach or team administrator in October. You may pay by check, purchase order, or credit card. If you pay by credit card, please use the payment link on your emailed invoice.
What is the STEM Robotics 101 professional development program and the Computer Science Education Grant?
The STEM Robotics 101 professional development program is a two-day introductory workshop in which teachers learn how to build and program the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robot and utilize/customize the rich set of Robotics 101 resources. Teachers work in pairs (just like their students) with the provided kits, robots and computers. Each teacher leaves equipped with software and the curriculum resources they need to customize a STEM robotics course to meet the needs of their students and goals of their administrators.
The Computer Science Education iGrant provided funding to launch the STEM Robotics 101 professional development program in the spring of 2016. Since then, over 35 two-day Robotics 101 Introductory workshops have been held at 15 sites statewide.
There are also several one-day advanced topics/coaching sessions for introductory professional development graduates, offered in partnership with educational service districts around the state.
The one-day advanced topics professional development includes Advanced LEGO® Programming, Robo-Math, Robo-Science, Data Logging, Technology-demystification lessons, Java Programming on LEGO® MINDSTORMS®, and FIRST® LEGO® Primers.
Professional development participants learn about the STEM Robotics 101 Lesson Bounty Program, which seeks to harvest the innovations of Washington teachers who too often are isolated in their own classroom. The Robotics 101 Lesson Bounty program seeks to harvest this creative work by providing a stipend for Washington CS/STEM teachers to take the time to document and share complete new lessons for STEM Robotics 101 which they have created for their own class.
What financial support for STEM Robotics PD will be provided to teachers from schools with high under-represented student populations and how are these tiers determined?
The Computer Science Education Grant program was designed to “introduce and engage students from historically underrepresented groups, including girls, low-income students, and minority students, to computer science and to inspire them to enter computer science careers”.
To this end, the STEM Robotics 101 PD program will prioritize participation and financial assistance into three tiers to serve this objective:
The Computer Science Education Grant program was designed to “introduce and engage students from historically underrepresented groups, including girls, low-income students, and minority students, to computer science and to inspire them to enter computer science careers.”
The STEM Robotics 101 professional development program prioritizes participation and financial assistance into three tiers to serve this objective:
Tier 1: Available to teachers who teach students from the most under-represented CS/STEM populations:
Teachers of Mandatory STEM Robotics 101 Enrichment Classes (100% participation of girls)
Teachers from Alternative Learning Experience Classes
Teachers from Special Education Classes
Teachers from schools in the highest quartile statewide (as determined by OSPI’s 2016/17 Washington State Report Card) for:
a) Free or reduced-price meals population rate >60%
b) Transitional/Bilingual population rate >15%
c) Non-White/non-Asian population rate >50%
Teachers from Tier 1 will be given the highest priority for professional development training slots and a $200 registration scholarship, reducing the 2-day STEM Robotics 101 Introductory Workshop fee to $195.
Tier 2: Available to teachers who teach students from high under-represented CS/STEM populations. Teachers from schools in the second-highest quartile statewide (as determined by OSPI’s 2016/17Washington State Report Card) for:
Free or reduced-price meals population rate >45%
Transitional/Bilingual population rate >10%
Non-White/non-Asian population rate >33%
Teachers from Tier 2 will be given second-highest priority for professional development training slots and a $100 registration scholarship, reducing the 2-day STEM Robotics 101 Introductory Workshop fee to $295.
Tier 3: All other public/private school teachers.
Teachers from Tier 3 will be given priority for professional development training slots on a first-come-first-served basis after Tier 1 and Tier 2 teachers are allocated slots. Tier 3 teachers will be given no additional financial assistance, but they will receive all the benefits listed in the previous FAQ.
What are the start-up costs of a STEM Robotics 101 classroom? Is help with start-up costs available?
The start-up costs for a STEM Robotics 101 classroom is about $225 per seat.
This cost estimate assumes:
1. Two students per robotics kit (ideal ratio)
2. Classroom has access to computers – Mac, PC or iPads/Chromebooks – that are less than 6 years old
3. Classroom licenses for programming and tutorial software
4. Classroom Challenge supplies
5. Teacher has completed the STEM Robotics 101 Introductory Workshop and is eligible for one-time start-up discounts (5% on kits/software from LEGO® Education.
FIRST® Washington is beginning to work on a program to help support Tier 1 and Tier 2 free or reduced-price meals schools with their classroom start-up costs. If start-up costs are a barrier for your participation as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 school, please contact Erin McCallum at FIRST® Washington, email@example.com.