FIRST LEGO® League Jr.

Welcome to FIRST LEGO® League Jr.!

FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to inspire, excite and introduce kids ages 6 to 10 to the wonders of science, technology and engineering. FIRST LEGO League Jr.:

  • Teaches the benefits of teamwork;
  • Sparks initial interest in science and technology;
  • Introduces basic design skills through a hands-on approach with the familiarity and fun of LEGO building; and
  • Provides a culture of sharing and learning from others.

LEARN MORE

What are the basics of the season?

Children learn best when they construct something real. FIRST LEGO League Jr.’s annual challenge asks teams to explore a real-world theme using an exclusive LEGO® Education Inspire Model as a starting point. From there, teams design their own models with LEGO® elements.

As they work, they learn basic engineering and programming skills with LEGO® Education WeDo and apply those concepts to make their model move. Teams also document their work in an engineering notebook and share their journey through a team Show Me Poster.

Throughout their experience, teams operate under the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values, celebrating the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®. The season concludes in a non-competitive expo to publicly applaud the accomplishments of each team!

The bottom line? We have fun!
In the Greater Kansas City area, official expos take place on select Saturdays scheduled between November and April. During these three-hour events each team presents its challenge research, Show Me Poster and LEGO model to FIRST LEGO League Jr. reviewers. Presentations wrap up with a short question and answer period. Team building and often, robot action from the other FIRST programs, round out the morning. Finally, the event concludes with a fun awards and closing ceremony. In FIRST LEGO League Jr., everyone is a winner!

Check out our Calendar for our free “How to Start an FLL JR Team” seminars in August.

How do I get my child on a team?

Any group can create a team: schools, home schools, community groups, churches or just some friends who wish to do something awesome. Technical experience is not required.

In 2018-19, 76 percent of FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams in the region were affiliated with an elementary school, with the remaining teams coming from groups of family/friends, homeschool groups or youth organizations.

We recommend checking with your local school to see if a team exists or if there is interest in starting one. You also can check with the high school FIRST team/s from your district, who sometimes mentor teams at other levels.

Some other options:

• Start your own team; no experience is needed. Local free seminars offered – see our Calendar.
• Volunteer at FIRST events to meet coaches and mentors
• Share the FIRST for Educators with your school to encourage formation of new teams
• Post on our Facebook Page and ask if coaches have openings

Because teams are structured in so many ways—from after-school programs to youth groups to parent-run teams—FIRST Kansas City cannot match individual children with existing teams or share team contact information.

What does it cost?

FIRST LEGO League Jr. fees apply to a team of up to six members, not individual members. Costs typically include:

Yearly single team registration: $99.00
Fee includes LEGO Inspire Set, Challenge document, Engineering Notebooks, Team Meeting Guide. See FIRST’s national website for a detailed breakout.

Yearly official Kansas City Regional Expo fee: $0.00

Startup Equipment: $189.00

Each team needs a FIRST LEGO League Jr. WeDo 2.0 Set (used with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device or laptop not included in listed cost). The WeDo set is a one-time purchase that can be used in subsequent years.

Optional costs:

  • Show Me poster supplies
  • Additional building elements
  • Team T-shirts
  • Snacks
  • Local travel to an expo

What is the time commitment?

Number of meetings

Teams typically can complete the season challenge in 12 facilitated sessions outlined in the Team Meeting Guide and Engineering Notebook.

New teams may want to add a few meetings to introduce basic engineering and programming skills.

Teams may also include field trips as a part of their challenge research.

Timeline

Teams may begin meeting as soon as the Challenge is released in early August. You can choose the timespan that works best for you; just make sure to allow enough time to complete the Challenge before the last Kansas City area Expo in late April.

Kansas City area Expos typically run 9 a.m. to noon on select Saturdays between November and April. You register for the Expo that best suits your schedule.

What is the season timeframe?

May: FIRST LEGO League Jr. registration opens.

Early August: Season Challenge details released.

August-January: Teams meet weekly over 12 weeks to complete the Challenge.

November-April: Teams attend an Expo (offered on select Saturdays) to celebrate their accomplishments.

Where are the teams in the area?

To find public and private schools and other organizations who organized a FIRST LEGO League Jr. team in 2018-19, use this list, searching the column marked FLL JR.

You also can search www.firstinspires.org for FIRST LEGO League Junior teams in Kansas and in Missouri, with the option to sort by zip code.

Please note: Because FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams top out at six students, starting your own team is often the easiest way to go.

How can schools or youth organizations participate?

Contact us for ideas to help you bring the FIRST LEGO League Jr. program to your students. Use the form in the side bar to let us know you’re interested or contact our FIRST LEGO League Junior Partner Chrissy Chandler.

You’ll be surprised how simple and rewarding it is to bring this inspiring program to your school or organization.

START A TEAM

Why should I start a team?

  • You get to pick the participants
  • You get to pick the meeting times and location
  • As coach, you become a role model
  • You get a ring-side seat to observe the creativeness of your team
  • You get to see the world through their eyes

What do I need to start a team?

  • Recruit 2 adult coaches.
  • Recruit (minimum of 2, maximum of 6) children between the ages of 6 to 10. Children may be on only one team.
  • Register, order materials and pay for your team on the FIRST headquarters website.
  • Set up team meetings.
  • Register and participate in an official Expo.
  • Find more details here

What skills are required?

No special skills are needed! Adults act as team facilitator; the children teach themselves. Students develop skills through trial and error, sharing ideas with one another and researching the current year’s theme.

What is the team registration process?

Teams register using the dashboard on the FIRST headquarters website. Create an account here to access your dashboard.

One coach registers the team, but each coach needs their own FIRST account.

Site coordinators for schools or youth organizations can sign up as a Team Administrator to  register team(s) and then invite coaches to join the team.

Coaches complete the required screening and agree to the Youth Protection Program rules.

Purchaser/coach pays for registration fee and materials ordered.

Once payment is received, an official team number is issued.

What grants and team resources are available for starting a team?

KC STEM Alliance does not have ongoing funding for seasonal FIRST LEGO League Jr. team grants. However, grant requests to serve under-represented students are considered on a case-by-case basis as Kansas City FIRST works toward the goal of giving every student in our metro the opportunity to participate in the full progression of FIRST programs.

If you have a proposal to start a new team in an under-represented area, contact us using the form on this page or by email. KC STEM Alliance has previously supported FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams through Girl Scouts, the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council and YMCA.

*New* Funding opportunity for U.S. Teachers 
U.S. public and charter school teachers may receive funding for LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 robot kits and LEGO® building sets from LEGO Education thanks an opportunity from NewsCorp & DonorsChoose.org.  Learn more.

FIRST VISTA AmeriCorps members and FIRST Kansas City’s Senior Mentor also can help with team visits, one-on-one assistance and locating resources, both technical and otherwise. Find their contact information here.

Who do I contact for additional support in starting a team?

Complete the “Have a Question or Comment” section of this page and check the “I want to form a team” box or contact our FIRST LEGO League Junior Partner Chrissy Chandler.

Also, two free seminars on “How to Start an FLL JR Team” are held in August.  See our calendar for more information.

We look forward to helping you!

UPCOMING FIRST LEGO LEAGUE JR. EVENTS

Mon 28
Nov 09

FIRST LEGO League Jr Expo

November 9 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Feb 29

FIRST LEGO League Jr Expo

February 29, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Mar 21

FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo

March 21, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Apr 15

FIRST Worlds Championship (Houston)

April 15, 2020 @ 8:00 am - April 18, 2020 @ 7:00 pm