Focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-10, FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. is a hands-on program designed to capture young children’s curiosity and direct it toward discovering how science and technology impact the world around them. This program features a real-world challenge, to be explored through research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values, team members work with LEGO elements and motorized parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review.
The culmination of the hard work for many teams is the participation at a FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo. Volunteer Reviewers at the event interview the teams to learn about their LEGO Model and Show Me poster. All the teams are celebrated and all teams leave with an award. While participation at an Expo is not a requirement, teams are encouraged to attend one. Teams can also show off their work on the Online Showcase.
The FIRST 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!
How does it work?
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. The Core Values represent how a team accomplishes their goals.
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 and simple machine.
- Tell about the team itself.
The Model gets teams moving! Teams build a representation of what they are researching, based off the Challenge, and incorporate simple machines and movement into their creation.
- Create a Model that fits within a 30” x 15” footprint.
- Design a Model made of LEGO® parts. Typically, a team of six will use 400 to 1,000 LEGO parts during the season.
- Must have at least one motorized piece on the Model using LEGO WeDo 2.0.
- Create a simple machine using LEGO ramps, levers, pulleys, gears, wheels and axles, screws, or wedges and incorporates this into their model.
- Specific information is available when the Challenge is released.
The best part about being a Coach is watching the children learn, grow, and become excited about science. They are so inquisitive and full of great ideas, energy, and optimism.
Students see it as a club, but we look at it as an extension of the school day, because it teaches fundamental science concepts, it encourages teamwork, and builds social skills.