Frequently Asked Questions

Team Specific

How does the Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) program work?
How do I start a team?
Can anyone coach?
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 is a typical Jr.FLL season?
What resources will I receive as a coach?
How do I get Challenge materials?
What is the Junior FIRST LEGO League Team Meeting Guide?
Where can I hold a meeting?
Do you have programs for children after they “age out” of Jr.FLL?

Registering and Product Ordering

How do I order LEGO products?
Can I purchase a Jr.FLL kit without registering a team?
What do I do with the Base Kit?
When does the 2014/2015 Jr.FLL THINK TANK℠ season begin?
I have forgotten my username and password.  How do I find this information?
What products and extra things should I budget for?
What is the difference between the Jr.FLL Base Kit and Jr.FLL Robotics Kit?

Events

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


Team Specific

How does the Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) program work?
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.  To finish off the season, teams may choose to attend a Jr.FLL Expo if there is one available in their area.

How do I start a 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 Jr.FLL How to Start a Team.

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 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 children 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.  To find this information, please visit our US/CAN or Global Contact pages.

What is a typical Jr.FLL season?
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 discussions, 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 and paid teams have access to via the Online Showcase):

  • Think About It! - Brainstorm about the topic and Challenge at large; narrow down the research topic.
  • Learn About It! - Conduct research pertaining to the Challenge, compile and make sense of the information.
  • Build It! – Teams design, build, and finalize a LEGO model with at least one motorized part and one simple machine that represents information they learned during their research.
  • Share It! - Teams will create a Show Me poster that shows what they have learned about the Challenge topic.  They practice presentation skills and will then share what they learned with parents, teachers, people who helped find the answers, team sponsors, other kids - whoever.    They may also have the opportunity to attend a non-competitive Jr.FLL Expo.

What resources will I receive as a coach?
Once you have registered for the season and receive a permanent team number, you will have access to a variety of materials for download.

  • Challenge Document –yearly Challenge topic/theme that was developed with the help of topic experts in the field.  Check out past Challenges.  
  • Coaches’ Resources - links, books, and places for coaches to find resources for the Challenge topic
  • Junior FIRST® LEGO® League Team Meeting Guide – this is a 6-8 week guide that aligns with the Challenge Document every season and contains lessons and activities to assist the coach throughout the Jr.FLL season.
  • Coaches’ Manual - all Jr.FLL information such as rules, building a team, and helping coaches get started.
  • Jr.FLL Forum – access to the private online Jr.FLL Forum to communicate with other coaches, share resources and links, or ask questions.  There is a public section and a private section.
  • Online Showcase – online Expo experience, teams share their research, LEGO model and Show Me poster with teams from around the world, all while collecting virtual stickers along the way.
  • Email – any additional questions, coaches can email jrfllteams@usfirst.org for more support.

How do I get Challenge materials?
Registered and paid teams have access to all the Challenge materials.  The Challenge materials are located in the Online Showcase. After coaches register and pay for their team through the Team Information Management System (TIMS), they will be redirected to the Online Showcase.  

What is the Junior FIRST LEGO League Team Meeting Guide?
The Team Meeting Guide is a resource for coaches to use to guide their team through a successful Jr.FLL season.  Activities and lessons contained in the Team Meeting Guide align with the Challenge theme for the season, allowing coaches to move through the 6-8 weeks in an organized manner. Use the pack as a guide, use it as a script for every meeting, or just simply use it as a timeline inserting your own activities along the way.  It contains 12 main focus sessions, with 4 additional drop-in sessions, each lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. Teams will experience team building activities, conduct research using a variety of media, learn about simple machines and the engineering design process, and have the opportunity to practice presentation skills.  

Where can I hold a meeting?
Meetings can be held anywhere. Popular venues for holding meetings are:

  • A school
  • A coach or team member’s home
  • Neighborhood community facility
  • Library

Do you have programs for children after they “age out” of Jr.FLL?
As children grow we encourage them to “graduate” to our next program. For kids that are 9-14 yrs old check out FIRST LEGO League.


Registering and Product Ordering

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 only 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 specifically for 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.

When does the 2014/2015 Jr.FLL THINK TANK℠ season begin?
Registration for the 2014/2015 Jr.FLL THINK TANK℠ season is open August 4, 2014 through April 15, 2015.

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.

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. 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 Expo 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 the programming process. The Jr.FLL Base Kit that we are recommending is a basic simple motorized mechanism kit 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 they want to make their Model.


Events

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.

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 collaborate 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 Event or 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.
At larger Jr.FLL Expos run by Affiliate Partners, Volunteer Reviewers visit with each team to learn about their LEGO model, Show Me poster and ask questions about their research.  This experience allows children to practice presentation skills in a non-competitive environment.  During the closing ceremony for the Expo everyone receives a certificate of participation.  Everyone wins!

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. Next season, every team is encouraged to apply and will be chosen via a lottery.  More information will be available when the season opens.