What are the rules for participating in a FIRST® LEGO® League Expo?
Expos are non-competitive. There is not a game and children do not compete for specific awards.
FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. Expo events operate under the FIRST® 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!
What is the cost of a FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. team?
Here are some basic cost parameters for teams:
FIRST® offers many fundraising opportunities and teams are encouraged to create their own. Grants are also available, as well as sponsorships provided locally, regionally and nationally by many corporations.
FIRST® believes that no team that wants to participate should have to decline due to a lack of resources. We will do everything possible to make funds available to all teams who need extra help.
Every year, FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. works with experts in the field to create a Challenge that relates to an important real-world issue. The end result of the design process is a Challenge with two defined parts – the Show Me Poster and the Model.
Show Me Poster
The Show Me Poster requires teams to illustrate their research and team journey. It provides an opportunity for them to share what they studied, what they learned, and to show information about the team and each team member.
– Create a Show Me Poster using a flat poster board or tri-fold presentation board.
– Use words, drawings, photos, and small objects to tell about what they have learned during their Challenge research.
– Show where they hunted for answers and describe the people they spoke with on their journey.
– Describe their Model.
– Tell about the team itself.
The Model gets teams moving! Teams build a representation of what they are researching, based off the Challenge.
– Design a Model made of LEGO® parts. Teams are provided with the Inspire Set, which was created just for FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams. It contains 700+ LEGO elements, including those needed to build the exclusive Inspire Model.
– Teams must use LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 or WeDO to build and program.
– Use your imagination as you design and build. Be creative!
What is the size of a FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. team?
FLL Jr. teams have up to six students ages 6-10, and two coaches who are 18 years or older. If you have more students wanting to join, you can always start another team for them!
Youths are responsible for researching the given challenge and creating a solution for it. The coaches and mentors are there to guide them and organize logistics for the team.
What is the time commitment for coaches, volunteers, and team members?
In general, as a coach or volunteer, you should meet with your team one to two times per week during the build and Expo season from August through May
What kind of practice space does a FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. team need?
A suitable meeting place, either public or private, that can accommodate the group and has internet access.
What are the rules for participating in a FIRST® LEGO® League tournament?
Like other team activities, FIRST® LEGO® League has basic ground rules. Failure to abide by these rules could result in ineligibility for awards at a tournament or other consequences deemed necessary by judges, referees, tournament organizers, FIRST® LEGO® League partners, Headquarters, or their designated representatives.
Teams, coaches and other supporters must demonstrate the Core Values in their actions and
Throughout the season, teams need access to the following materials:
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robot Set
Computer or tablet with software to program the robot. (Laptop is recommended.)
Throughout the season, teams need access to the following season-specific materials:
A competitive team is one playing in a FIRST® LEGO® League official event. These additional rules apply:
A competitive team consists of a minimum of two and a maximum of 10 youth. Proper adult supervision is required as described in the FIRST® Youth Protection Policy.
A team must be registered and fully paid in the national registration system to sign up for official events. Additional event fees may apply.
Team members are between the minimum and maximum age allowed in their region.
All work presented at an official event is the work of the youth on the team.
All team members attending an event are required to participate in all three judging sessions and be present as a team at the Robot Game matches.
A competitive team must meet these additional criteria to be eligible for awards and/or advancement at an official event.
Teams are at their first official event of each tournament level for the season. For example, teams are only eligible for awards at the first qualifier they compete in each season. [See INTO ORBIT Challenge Guide]
FIRST® Washington gives authority to volunteers staffing FIRST® LEGO® League official events to interpret and implement the participation rules, guided by global FIRST® LEGO® League training materials.
Teams, coaches, and supporters at official events are expected to demonstrate FIRST®Core Values.
Individuals interfering with, excessively instructing, prompting, or heckling a team or volunteer may be asked to leave.
Severe infractions of these rules may result in a team’s dismissal from the event. FIRST® LEGO® League official event volunteers are provided training to identify and respond to these situations [See FIRST Youth Protection Policy (YPP)].
Individuals and/or teams who fail to abide by the participation rules may be ineligible for awards at a tournament.
How are teams judged at competitions and what awards are there for FIRST® LEGO® League teams participating?
FIRST® LEGO® League is known around the globe not only for what we do (the Robot Game and Project) but also how we do it, with Core Values at the heart. The FLL Judging Rubrics are used for judging reflect these three equally important aspects of FIRST® LEGO® League.
Official tournaments must follow the judging and awards structure determined by FIRST® LEGO® League. Although the audience mostly sees teams playing the Robot Game at tournaments, teams are also being judged on:
The Core Values Poster and the Robot Design Executive Summary are additional tools that may be used to help facilitate discussion in the Core Values and Robot Design judging sessions at official events. FIRST® Washington will distribute instructions to teams outlining the information to be included if we require the Core Values Poster and/or the Robot Design Executive Summary at our events.
The Core Values Poster and the Robot Design Executive Summary will be used as part of the judging at the World Festival.
Teams must participate in all elements of a FIRST® LEGO® League competition including the Robot Game and all three judged areas in order to be eligible for any Core Award.
Judges use the rubrics to help them determine which teams will receive awards.
With the exception of the Robot Performance Award, awards are determined by a deliberation process, which is formulated around discussions of team performance in each category.
If a team does not exhibit Core Values at a tournament, they may be disqualified from winning any awards – including Robot Performance – no matter how well they scored.
Adults are strictly prohibited from directing team members or interfering with the judging process or robot rounds in any way.
No team is allowed to win two awards unless one of the awards is for Robot Performance. Robot Performance is the only category based solely on score.
While they may attend other events for fun, teams are only eligible to win awards at the first official event of each qualifying level attended during the season.
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. See the minimum requirements here.
What is the cost of a FIRST® LEGO® League team?
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.
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.
Who can mentor a FIRST® LEGO® League team?
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: