Are there any special skills required to participate?
The best thing about all FIRST® programs is that all skill levels are welcome – technical and nontechnical. Teams need all kinds of skills and creativity to succeed. What are you good at? Chances are we have a job for you. You’ll probably learn a few new ones while you’re with us!
The most successful coaches are people with at least an interest in science and technology, and in helping, kids discover and learn. We can’t emphasize enough, though, that no special technical skills are required. Anyone who wants to be a coach will receive all the training and help they need.
FIRST® Washington welcomes every student and mentor, with or without special skills. Youth team members are encouraged to bring any skills or interests they already have, but most importantly a desire to learn and solve problems as a team.
As our coaches often say, “This is the only sport where if you show up, you can play.”
Does FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge have an official policy on how teams advance to Championships from Qualifiers?Does FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge have an official policy on how teams advance to Championships from Qualifiers?
In accordance with the Participation Rules, teams are eligible for awards and advancement only at the first official event of each qualifying level attended during season. In most cases, event capacity within a region limits team participation to only one qualifying event each season.
The qualifier advancement policy is based on Champion’s Award criteria. As described above, Champion’s Award criteria require that the team, performs well in all three judged areas (Core Values, Project, and Robot Design). Teams are required to be ranked in the in the top 40% of official Robot Game scores to be considered for Champion’s Award and they must be ranked in the top 75% of official Robot Game scores to be eligible to advance.
Contact your local Partner or Tournament Director to find out how many teams will be advancing from the event you are attending. (See the official Advancement Policy).
It is possible for a team to receive a 1st Place Core Values, Project, or Robot Design Award but not advance to Championship if their Robot Performance score is ranked below the top 75% of teams at the event. A team may win 1st Place in Robot Performance but not advance to Championship due to not having performed well in one or more of the three judged areas.
How can I find a FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge team to join?
Washington State has between 550 and 600 FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge teams each year. Teams are formed in schools, community organizations, and neighborhoods. They can be formed by any interested adult willing to facilitate team logistics for about four months.
Both nationwide and within Washington, about 77% (~460) of the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge teams are formed through schools, so the first place to look for opportunities to join a team is with your child’s school. Generally, the school-based teams are open only to students attending that institution because interest often exceeds capacity. If your child’s school does not currently have a team, you may want to work with a teacher or administrator there to help form a team within the school.
About 10% of the Washington teams are formed through community organizations such as 4-H, YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Boys & Girls Clubs. Generally, this is only one of many activities that the organization facilitates for its members, but if your child is interested in one of these organizations overall, this might be an avenue to pursue in your local area.
The remaining teams in Washington are formed through homeschool groups, religious organizations, or neighborhood groups of friends. While these groups are not specifically closed to other students, they do not usually engage in recruiting members.
Since finding an opportunity with an existing team may be difficult, many experienced coaches and parents advise families new to the program to start their own team. The benefits to your child and for those who have an opportunity to participate are well worth the effort. If you need additional resources or encouragement, contact us at FIRST® Washington.
How do I register my team for FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge?
You begin the two-level registration process with national FIRST® registration. When you complete the short process (around 20 minutes) and pay your registration fee, you will receive:
- An official team number
- Coaches’ Handbook
Once your team is registered with FIRST® nationally, the coach or team representative must register with FIRST® Washington. Registering with FIRST® Washington will allow you to participate in the event registration process in October and the opportunity to compete in local competitions, qualifiers, and regional championships.
Please go to the Get Started page on this site to begin the registration process.
How do you join an existing FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge team?
If your school or other organization has a FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge team already, approach the coach to see if there is room for another student and if the deadline has passed.
If your child’s school does not currently have a team, you may want to work with a teacher or administrator there to help form a team within the school.
As a parent of a younger FIRST® participant, you will have to register your child through the FIRST® Team Dashboard. You will receive an email from your team’s lead coach inviting your child to join, from there you can register them! The short registration process will need to be done every year your child is a part of a FIRST® team.
We want to make it as simple as possible to excite the students about their futures, so all you need to do is the simple registration! Parents are welcomed and encouraged to get more involved in their child’s team, but it is not required. If you would like to be involved, contact your child’s coach.
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