FIRST LEGO League is for teams of students, ages 9 to 14. Teams of up to 10 students compete in a yearly challenge with three primary parts, the Robot Game, the Project and the FIRST LEGO League Core Values. In August, the Challenge is announced. Teams participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.
Teams then attend an official tournament which is like sporting events with judges, referees and awards. Teams compete in Regional Tournaments to qualify for the iSPACE FIRST LEGO League District Tournament. Qualifying teams then compete in the State Championship.
Looking for the new Pilot Project Rubric for Ohio FIRST LEGO League? Click Here.
Starting a Team
Anyone can start a FIRST LEGO League Team! Teams may be made up of members from a school, church, scout troop, club or group of friends. It is often necessary to form a new team since existing teams may not be adding new members. A starting point is FIRST’s Start a Team webpage. Note: Neither iSPACE nor FIRST creates teams, hosts teams or places students onto teams.
- Recruit up to 10 students; team members must be 14 or under on January 1 of the year the challenge is released. FIRST LEGO League “suggests” kids be at least 9 years old. An individual can be on only one FIRST LEGO League team per season. Each team must have two or more adults (18 or older) as coaches/mentors. An adult can coach multiple teams. Coaches DO NOT need robot or technical experience but should be willing to learn and able to organize and facilitate the team.
- Register the team with FIRST LEGO League.Registration is open May through mid-September or until all slots are filled, whichever comes first.
- Order LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics kit, if one is not already available. We suggest doing this as early as possible to start learning about programming and building a few basic robot designs.
- Order the Field Set-up Kit specific to this year’s challenge (or arrange to share one with another team). The game mat which is part of the Field Set-up Kit is 4’x8’. Build a practice table to hold the Field Set-up Kit that complies with competition standards. Several types of tables can be used and building instructions can be found on the FIRST website.
- Attend a Coach or Team Workshop. iSPACE and other organizations provide workshops to aid coaches, mentors and teams.
- Register for a FLL Ohio Regional Tournament through WPAFB Educational Outreach Office.
- Sign up to attend a practice tournament or scrimmage in October.
Connections to Form a Team: FIRST TeamUP allows parents, coaches, and mentors to connect. Users can create a profile and search for teams or parents matching selection criteria on FIRST‘s forum.
Download How To Form a Hydro Dynamics FLL Team flyer. (coming soon)
Costs are based on last year’s prices for a new team. Returning teams may reuse the robot kit and table. Teams may choose to purchase additional parts, so fees could vary accordingly.
Cost: $900-$1100 for a new team
$499 for the latest Mindstorms Robot Kit – EV3 (Any generation of Mindstorms robot is allowed.)
$75 Challenge Set
$52 Shipping and handling for Robot, Registration and Challenge Set
$120 for Table Construction Materials (estimated)
$225 FIRST Team Registration Fee
$75 Ohio Tournament Fee
Teams can fund raise. Schools can apply for grants to foundations that have a history of supporting robotics such as American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) and Aerospace Education Foundation (AEF). Church, club, scout or neighborhood teams can ask businesses or civic organizations to sponsor them. Teams can conduct mini-fundraisers (car wash, bake sale, chores for neighbors, etc.) to raise funds.