FAQ: Mentors
FIRST® LEGO® LEAGUE

What is the Youth Protection Program (YPP)

The purpose of the FIRST Youth Protection Program (FIRST YPP) is to provide Coaches, Mentors, Volunteers, employees, others working in FIRST programs, team members, parents, and guardians of team members with information, guidelines, and procedures to create safe environments for everyone participating in FIRST programs.

The FIRST YPP sets minimum standards recommended for all FIRST activities. Adults working in FIRST programs must be knowledgeable of the standards set by the FIRST YPP, as well as those set by the school or organization hosting their team.

FIRST expects all teams in the United States and Canada to adhere to all provisions of the FIRST YPP.

Program Guide  Program Resources

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.”

What are the FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values?

We express the FIRST® philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition through our Core Values:
FLL, 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!

Who can start a FIRST® LEGO® League team?

Anyone with an interest in changing lives through STEM can start a team – educators, parents, anyone with the time and motivation. Most teams in Washington are school-based. Others are formed through community organizations such as 4-H, YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, homeschool groups, religious organizations, and even neighborhood groups of friends. If you want to start a school-based team, contact a teacher or administrator to get started. Also, see the minimum requirements.

 

Who can coach a FIRST® LEGO® League team?

Teachers, parents, and technology professionals all make excellent coaches. The coach must be 18 years or older and should have the desire to explore side-by-side with students and have good communication, prioritizing, and multitasking skills. The coach’s role is to facilitate instruction and optimize the learning experience of the team members by allowing independent thought. Direct adult involvement or intervention during the problem-solving process is strongly discouraged.

Coaches handle all the operational details: where and when to meet, organizing help for snacks, team costumes, etc. Coaches do not need technical expertise, but expertise but must be willing to acquire some basic knowledge of the programming environment and LEGO® robot building. As leader of a FIRST® LEGO® League registered team, the coach will have access to robot kits, team Challenge kits, software and building instructional manuals from FIRST® LEGO® League.

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