Frequently Asked Questions

Teams

What does a team do?
Can anyone Coach?
How do I start a Jr.FLL team?
How many kids can be on a team?
What are the age limits for kids participating in Jr.FLL?
How do I join a team?
What does a typical Jr.FLL season consist of?
When is the 2013/2014 DISASTER BLASTERSM Season?
I have forgotten my username and password. How do I find this information?
Does FIRST map to any of the educational core standards (US specific)?

Challenge Materials & Kits

What products and extra things should I budget for?
What is the difference between the Jr.FLL Base Kit and the Jr.FLL Robotics Set?
How do I get challenge materials?
How do I order LEGO® products?
Can I order a Jr.FLL® kit without registering?
What do I do with the base kit?
Where can I hold a meeting?

Events

Is there an event in my area?
How much do events cost?
Who can organize an event?
Do we have to go to an event?
What can I expect at a typical Jr.FLL expo?
What's next?
What roles can I volunteer for?
How do teams attend the Jr.FLL World Festival Expo?

What does a team do?

Teams meet once or twice a week for 6-8 weeks. Students will become familiar with the Challenge, and choose a topic to research which pertains to the task at hand. The sheer scope of the theme each year can be mind-boggling, even for adults, but the Challenge lays the groundwork for understanding larger issues, concepts that the team members will surely take with them as they grow. Once teams do the research, they will build a model and create a Show Me poster to present their findings.

Can anyone coach?

Yes!  Coaches guide the team through the season by facilitating discussion and encouraging problem solving. No technical background is required to be a coach, just a willingness to learn with the children. The coach is the main point of contact and is responsible for disseminating all information to the team.

How do I start a Jr.FLL team?

Teams are structured in a variety of different ways; some are clubs or after-school programs that meet year-round, while others are formed by parents, community organizations, or youth groups. For this and other reasons, we do not match individual children with pre-existing teams. Also, for privacy reasons, we are not able to share lists of team contact information. We encourage parents and teachers to start teams in their areas and then invite other interested students to join- we provide lots of information to help you with this process. To learn more about starting a Jr.FLL team in your area, please visit the Jr.FLL "How to Start a Team".

How many kids can be on a team?

Teams may have a few as two (2), but no more than six (6) students. The maximum of six kids on a team was decided as it is the maximum number we feel can all work on one model at the same time. Please adhere to team sizes as they are designed to ensure all kids get the maximum benefit from the program. 

What are the age limits for kids participating in Jr.FLL?

Children participating on a Jr.FLL team are 6-9 years old. Generally, we consider the upper age limit of 9 to be "hard" and the lower limit of 6 to be "soft." Children younger than 6 or older than 9 may participate if, after taking the child's developmental level into consideration, you feel they would benefit from taking part in the Jr.FLL program. However, we have found that kids younger than 6 can be overwhelmed by the experience, and that those older than 9 may be bored and/or not want to play with "little" kids.  Remember, we offer the FIRST LEGO League program for students ages 9-14.

How do I join a team?

There are a couple of different options for connecting with teams.

TeamUp!
FIRST TeamUp! allows users to search for Jr.FLL team information such as:

  • Teams accepting new members
  • Teams looking for mentors
  • Mentors looking for teams
  • Parents looking for teams
  • Parents connecting with other parents (neither party is affiliated with an official team)

Note: Even if you are looking for a team to join, we strongly suggest that you also specify that you are looking to “connect” with other people when creating your account because there are typically more people looking to join teams than there are teams looking to recruit more members. 

The FIRST Forums
The Forums provide an alternative venue for connecting with other interested people in your area.

You also can contact your local Jr.FLL Partner as they may know of a team in the area looking for new members.

What does a typical Jr.FLL season consist of?

As with all of our programs, the Jr.FLL season will promote the Core Values of FIRST. We ask that everyone affiliated with a team keep these values in mind throughout the season. The coach, as a critical element of the team, will guide the team through the season; facilitating discussion, and problem solving along the way. A coach helps their Jr.FLL team do the following things with their Challenge topic (specific information about the below components can be found in the Challenge Material that registered teams have access to via TIMS):

  • Learn about it! - Brainstorm about the topic at large; narrow down the research topic, conduct research, compile and make sense of data.
  • Build it! - Build a LEGO model with one motorized part and one simple machine that is meant to represent your team's findings.
  • Show it! - Teams will create a Show Me poster detailing: their team, the thing they picked, how it moved them, how they learned about it, and how others can learn more.
  • Share it! - Share what you learned with parents, teachers, people who helped you find the answers, team sponsors, other kids - whoever. Tell the story, answer questions, sing a song, put on a play, be serious, be funny - find a way to share what you know!  If you attend a Jr.FLL event, reviewers will visit with you for 5-10 minutes.

When is the 2013/2014 DISASTER BLASTERSM Season?

Registration for the 2013/2014 DISASTER BLASTERSM season is open August 1, 2013 through April 16, 2014.

I have forgotten my username and password.  How do I find this information?
If you have forgotten your username, please email Jrfllteams@usfirst.org or call us at 1-800-871-8326 and we will be able to provide you with it. If you have forgotten your password, please use the "Forgot your password?" link on the login page of TIMS to retrieve this information.

Does FIRST map to any of the educational core standards (US specific)?
Yes, this document maps FIRST programs to the Common Core Math Standards, National Science Standards and 21st Century Skills Framework. (US specific)

What products and extra things should I budget for?

Many teams budget for LEGO products, Team T-shirts, Event Registration fees, travel costs, snacks for meetings, as well as supplies the team may use to make their Show Me poster. These are just examples of the items you may want to purchase for your team, but we do not require you to make such purchases.

What is the difference between the Jr.FLL Base Kit and Jr.FLL Robotics Kit?

Besides the difference in price, the main difference between the Jr.FLL Base kit and the Jr.FLL Robotics Kit is the ability for your team to experience the early stages of computer programming. The Robotics Kit is the beginning robotics kit sold by LEGO education. This kit will allow your team to build various models and program them to move using software loaded onto a computer. It is important to keep in mind that if you choose to use the Robotics Kit, you will need to bring a computer to an event and attach it to your model in order to make your model move. The Robotics kit also does not have the large number of pieces the Base Kit does. It is a great addition for older teams who are looking for a way to start learning th eprogramming process. The Jr.FLL Base Kit that we are recommending is a basic simple motorized mechanism sit that comes with pieces that will allow your team to build a model and use a motor to make a part of the model move.  Many teams buy an extra set of LEGO bricks to build a more robust model, but this is not necessary. It is really up to the coach and the team to decide on how elaborate to make your Model.

How do I get challenge materials?

The Challenge Materials are located in the Team Information Management System (TIMS) where you registered your team. Log in to the system, click "edit" next to your team, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the "Challenge Materials" field.  Click "view" to see files.

How do I order LEGO  products?

  • Log in to your Jr.FLL TIMS account.
  • Click “Edit/View” next to your team name to go to the Team Summary page (this is where you manage all of your team information).
  • If your Registration Status is showing “Registered/Paid,” you will be able to click Order in the next field down entitled “Order Materials.” This will redirect you to the LEGO Education website.
  • Create your own Jr.FLL Store Password to enter the system and order your materials.

**NOTE: You will nonly be able to order one of each kit for each team you register.**

Can I purchase a Jr.FLL kit without registering a team?

Jr.FLL materials are only available to registered/paid teams. In order to purchase any of the kits, you must first register and pay for your Jr.FLL team. Jr.FLL Kits are not available for purchase anywhere else- they were made especially for use with the Jr.FLL program.

What do I do with the Base Kit?

Wondering what to do with all those pieces in the Jr.FLL Base Kit? Check out this video on building a motorized car.

Where can I hold a meeting?

Meetings can be held anywhere. Popular venues for holding meetings are at a school, a coach home, or neighborhood community facility. Some helpful tips for holding meetings are:

  • Jr.FLL teams generally meet for 6-8 weeks. Each session should last for 1-2 hours, once or twice a week. Many teams meet after school or during another group activity, such as during a Girl or Boy Scout troop meeting.
  • It is helpful to set forth an agenda. That is, have in mind a list of "To-do's" going into each meeting, and be sure to clue your team members into what those are and also what to expect for the next meeting.
  • Make sure that each team member "has the floor" at some point. Each team member should make at least one contribution per meeting. You may consider getting a ball, or another item to pass around to represent who "has the floor" at any given time. This will not only ensure that everyone gets a turn, but also allows each team member a level of confidence to speak their mind without being interrupted.
  • Be sure to have a back-up team leader - you may need some help juggling responsibilities and/or supervising your team members.
  • Provide snack
  • Take attendance
  • Discuss responsibilities with the whole team. It is important for you to be specific when talking about each individual's role and responsibilities. Team members usually have ideas about what they want to do - building, research, making the Show Me poster, presenting - but keep in mind that some children can be pushed out of trying something they really want to do by other more enthusiastic team members. Also, be mindful of those who avoid certain tasks. Remind the children often of the importance of collaboration and teamwork.  Rotate roles so everyone has an opportunity to try different things.

Is there an event in my area?

We make every effort to post all events that we know about. Search for an event in your area.

How much do events cost?

The cost of events varies. The cost to register for an event is determined by the event organizer, as events are coordinated on the local level. The typical cost for registration for a Jr.FLL event is between $20 and $50. This is just an estimate and can vary above and below these amounts. Please check with the person organizing the event in your area to find out how to register, and how much registration is for the event.

Who can organize an event?

Anyone can host a Jr.FLL event. Many of our events are held by FLL Partners, however there are also numerous events that are put on by local community members, teachers, and Jr.FLL Team Coaches. If you cannot find an event in your area, we encourage you to organize your own.

Do we have to go to an event?

No, you are not required to attend an event. However, going to an event allows you to see what other teams have done, gives you the chance to collborate with other coaches and celebrates what everyone has learned through their experiences with the Jr.FLL program.

What can I expect at a typical Jr.FLL Expo?

Jr.FLL events provide an opportunity for Jr.FLL teams to showcase their work and meet other kids who share their interest in science and technology.  A Jr.FLL event can be as simple as a meeting of your team, team families, and friends to share what they learned. It could be as small as one or two teams meeting in someone's living room, or as large as 30 or more teams sharing in a public venue.

What's next?

As children grow we encourage them to “graduate” to our next program. For your kids that are 9-14 yrs old check out the FIRST LEGO League.

What roles can I volunteer for?

Check out our Jr.FLL Event day Volunteer roles here.

How do teams attend the Jr.FLL World Festival Expo?

Teams can apply to attend the Jr.FLL World Festival Expo. Applications will be taken until January and then teams are chosen to attend via a lottery.  Being chosen one year does not mean you will get chosen another year, and if you have multiple teams, just because you have one team chosen, doesn't mean your other teams will be as well.