FIRST LEGO League: ages 9 – 14
More than ever, we must come together to innovate and solve problems. In FIRST, you are part of a thriving community brimming with inspiration, creativity, and hope for a stronger, more sustainable future—one that’s built better together. You have the power to help the cities, towns, and places you call home reach new heights. With the support of the FIRST community, this is your opportunity to lead our future forward—and up.Together, we RISE. Join Us.
The Robot Design Executive Summary (RDES), and Core Values Poster (CV) are NOT required in Colorado, but they are recommended.
2019 CITY SHAPERSM Schedule
|September 7th||PowerUp! Workshop – Denver Museum of Nature & Science|
Tournament registration opens September 1st and CLOSES OCTOBER 15th.
|November 9th||SOLD OUT Central Denver Qualifier – CU Denver, College of Engineering & Applied Science|
|November 9th||El Paso Qualifier – Janitell Junior High School, Fountain CO|
|November 9th||Liberty Qualifier – Liberty High School, Fort Collins, CO|
|November 9th||Grand Junction Qualifier – Central High School, Grand Junction, CO|
|November 16th||Boulder Qualifier – Manhattan Middle School, Boulder, CO|
|November 16th||Mountain Qualifier – Aspen Middle School, Aspen, CO|
|November 16th||Poudre Qualifier – Poudre High School, Fort Collins, CO|
|November 16th||Southern Colorado Qualifier – Coronado High School, Colorado Springs, CO|
|November 16th||4 Corners Qualifier – Escalante Middle School, Durango, CO|
|November 23rd||St. Vrain Qualifier – Erie Middle School – Erie, CO|
|November 23rd||North Denver Qualifier – Moore Middle School, Arvada, CO|
|November 23rd||Weld County Qualifier – Heath Middle School, Greeley, CO|
|December 7th (by invitation only)||Colorado State Championship – CU Denver Student Wellness Center, Denver, CO|
What is FIRST LEGO League?
What is FIRST LEGO League?
Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by two or more adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League* teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8**) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.
It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s Core Values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Coaches do not need any technical experience. In FIRST LEGO League, the children do the work; like program an autonomous robot to score points on a thematic playing surface, create innovative solutions to a problem, all while being guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values. Teams also fundraise, create a team identity, and talk to experts in the field.
How do I get my child on a team?
Due to privacy concerns we cannot release contact information about existing or past teams. However, there are a few ‘usual suspects’ you can ask. Check with your child’s school or the local library to see if they have a robotics club.
But how can I guarantee my child will be able to participate this season?
The only way to be 100% sure your child is able to participate in the upcoming season is to form a new team. This sounds daunting, but the good news is that you are not on your own! The first step is to find similarly interested youth and their parents to help form the team. Start asking your child’s friends and their parents. Check with your neighborhood association, home school group, scout troop, church, or any other organizations, clubs or sports teams with which your family is involved to see if there is interest in forming a robotics team. Teams can have anywhere from 2-10 youth team members.
Anyone can organize a team! Teams can be formed around a school classroom, after-school program, extracurricular group, home school, a group of friends, a club, or civic organization – basically any way that a small group of young people gets together. The definition of a team is that it consists of 2 to 10 kids that are age-eligible, and at least two adult coaches.
5 essential steps to starting a FIRST LEGO League team:
1. Learn all about us
Each year in late August, FIRST LEGO League releases a new Challenge for teams that focuses on a scientific topic. Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and FIRST LEGO League Core Values:
Teams are challenged to learn more about the science behind the real-world Challenge theme, then use their creativity to design a solution (or modify an existing solution) to solve the problem.
The teams are required to build and program an autonomous (no remote control) LEGO MINDSTORMS robot that can perform theme-based “mission” tasks on a table-top playing field. The missions require the robot to navigate, capture, transport or deliver objects. The more missions completed, the more points teams earn.
While teams work on the Project and Robot Game, they are guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values. This set of values is what makes our program so special. Teams are encouraged to compete like crazy but still respect their teammates, Coaches, and even help their “competitors.” Our most important Core Value is “Have FUN!”
2. Form your team
Recruit up to 10* interested team members ages 9 to 14. Team members must not exceed the maximum age on January 1 of the year the Challenge is released. Students can only be on one team, but a Coach is allowed to coach multiple teams.
* Some coaches may have more than 10 children wanting to join the team. If they are not in a position to form a second team, they must make the difficult decision to select the final 10 members. We recognize this is not an easy choice. As such, we remind coaches who choose to include more than 10 members participating at any time during the season, they are ineligible to win any awards. Ten members is a strictly enforced limit.
3. Register, Pay, and Order Materials
Once you have a team (you do not need all team member names yet), register your team at your national level. Every team needs:
Challenge Set (formerly known as Field Setup Kit) – the practice field for your robot, including an exclusive selection of LEGO bricks, dual lock fasteners, and a roll-out field mat. The Challenge Set changes with the new Challenge every season.
A LEGO MINDSTORMS set to build your robot
If your team already has a LEGO MINDSTORMS set, you are not required to buy the Robot Set. Also, you may share your Challenge Set with another team if you wish.
4. Learn about safety
At FIRST, student safety is always paramount. Every adult must become familiar with our Youth Protection Program. Watch our videos and read our youth protection materials.
5. Review Coach/Team Resources
Part of the fun is researching the Project and designing/building your robot. FIRST provides a wealth of information in our Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides, to fundraising ideas, or fun activities for your team. Once the Challenge is released, all the documents you need will be on this website (details of what the team is expected to complete for the season; information about how your team will be judged at a tournament).
Most teams spend about eight (8) weeks preparing for a tournament. Many new teams start by meeting twice a week for one to two hours. See how that works, and then adjust your meeting schedule if you need more or less time. Some teams work on both the Robot Game and the Project for part of each meeting. Others devote one meeting per week to each part of the Challenge. Work with your team to find the right balance. Understand that your team’s robot and Project must be ready before you attend a tournament.
- Coaches’ Handbook
- Challenge & Updates (Coming Aug. 29 noon EDT)
- Coach Quick Tips
- Mission Model Build Instructions (Coming August 1)
- Participation Certificates (Coming in August)
If you have questions please contact us!
FIRST is a volunteer-centric organization. Without volunteers we cannot host competitions and other events for our students. Volunteering with FIRST is fun and rewarding as well as a great way to meet like-minded people!
There are many volunteer roles available for FIRST LEGO League competitions – most requiring only one day. A few volunteer positions require online training in advance but most volunteers will be briefed the morning of the event. We especially need judges so please consider volunteering as a judge.
To volunteer for an FLL event, please register through the FIRST system by clicking here and then following these steps:
- Login to the system (or create an account) at https://firstinspires.org
- Click the “Volunteer Registration” tab
- Choose the “Event Volunteering” button
- Click “Clear Filters”
- Click the FLL button and choose your Country and State from the drop-down menus and then the Apply Filters button at the bottom of the screen
- Choose the event you are interested in by clicking the “View Event Details” button in the box for the event
- Choose the volunteer roles you are interested in.
Make sure you go through all the steps including the background screening process. After you register and your volunteer screening has been completed the Volunteer Coordinator for the event(s) you registered for will contact you with details about your role.