Watch our Online Orientation Seminar!
Participating in FIRST LEGO League is an amazing experience for both the kids and the adults involved. With your guidance, the children on your team are going to inspire you, and those around you, in surprising ways. If you have no technical background, don’t be nervous. The team members are the ones who do the work. You only need to ask the questions and watch them… GO!
FIRST LEGO League is more of a celebration than a “competition.” Coaches help other coaches. Teams help other teams. We want everyone who participates – team member, coach, or event volunteer – to have a fulfilling experience. That’s the reason we built FIRST LEGO League upon a set of Core Values that guides everything we do.
The following steps will give you an idea of what coaching an FIRST LEGO League team is all about. You will need to adjust to your schedule, but you will see that anyone can get kids excited about science, technology and engineering.
How much does it cost?
Average Cost for a New Team
Average Cost for a Returning Team
Steps for Starting a Team
Full details on getting started can be found in the Season Standards Manual however, we have some high level steps below the buttons.
The first step in forming a FIRST LEGO League team is to find a set of coaches to lead the team. A minimum of two adults are required to register with FIRST as coaches for each FIRST LEGO League Team. These two coaches will be screened by FIRST and this screening must be complete before the team is can manage their team rosters. These coaches are expected to be present with the team throughout the season and tournament day.
In general, most teams get formed by a parent or teacher and that person either becomes the coach and/or will recruit others to co-coach. Coaching an FIRST LEGO League team is not difficult and does not require specialized knowledge, but it does take time and patience. We offer coaches training and can help provide a “bootcamp” start up type of training if there is a need. We would recommend looking for FIRST LEGO League “alum” at your area high school to help with mentoring. Many FIRST Robotics Competition and/or FIRST Tech Challenge team members are willing to help FIRST LEGO League teams as well.
Typically, it is very rare to find a team for a child where there is not already a relationship between the adults and/or the kids (in other words, not made up of “strangers”). Teams form where there is already is a relationship among the young people involved. An example of a prior relationship would be attending the same school, being neighbors, and even going to the same church. Currently, most teams in CVR form as part of a co-curricular program at their school. However, teams do NOT have to be affiliated with an organization or school. Similarly, an organization or school can sponsor more than one team.
There are a few restrictions when recruiting children to an FIRST LEGO League Team:
- A child can only be a team member on only one team.
- There is a maximum of 10 children per FIRST LEGO League Team.
- Students must be between the ages of 9-14 to participate in the FIRST LEGO League Program.
- All team members must be age 14 or younger as of January 1 of the competition year. For the 2016 ANIMAL ALLIES season, every team member must be 14 or younger as of January 1, 2016.
With the coaches recruited, it’s time to register the team with FIRST. National Registration is handled through the Account Dashboard on the FIRST website and can be accessed by clicking this link: https://my.firstinspires.org/Dashboard/. Registration opens in early May and runs through the end of September each year (subject to availability, registration may close sooner if all spots are filled).
For schools or organizations with Site Coordinators (called Team Administrators in the FIRST system), the site coordinator can register the team then invite the coaches to join the team. Otherwise, one of the coaches can register the team. Each coach will need to make their own FIRST account and join the team. Teams will be able to purchase materials and pay registration fees, however they will not be able to manage rosters until they have two screen coaches.
Teams will receive their official Team Number once they have paid the Team Registration Fee.
Once the team has registered with FIRST and has completed the screening requirements, they will be contacted by Central Valley Robotics to register in MyCVR. MyCVR is a locally built web application that manages team information, form submission, event registration, and more for teams in the Central California area.
Coaches can access MyCVR by clicking this link: https://my.cvrobotics.org/.
The FIRST LEGO League Season runs from August to December in the Central California Area. Starting from the Global Challenge release in late August, teams should start meeting to build their robot and research their project. Teams typically meet between 2-4 hours per week during the season, potentially increasing as the tournaments get closer. The amount of time that teams meet varies from team to team. Some meet for 4 hours on a Saturday, and others meeting for an hour and a half after school a few times per week. Depending on the challenge and the research topic chosen by the team, field trips may also be required for additional research or sharing the teams solution.
Starting in early October, teams will be able to register for a tournament. Teams will register through MyCVR on a first-come, first-served basis. Only teams that have completed all required forms and documentation will be able to register for an event. More information about the required forms and documentation can be found in the Coaching Resources section on this website or in the Season Standards Manual.
Due to potentially high load on our website during the registration period, the registration process asks teams to select their top three events and adds the team’s registration request to a queue. MyCVR will then process each request one at a time. In the situation that the 1st preference for a team is full by the time that registration request is processed, the 2nd preference will be used and so forth.
During the season, Central Valley Robotics offers many trainings and seminars that Coaches and Teams can attend to prepare themselves for the season and tournaments. We highly encourage all teams to attend the Coach Seminars offered every year, as well as the Kickoff event held every late August or early September.