Montana State University

Montana FIRST


Contact & Location:

Allison Banfield
629 Cobleigh Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3780

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 173780
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3780
Tel: (406) 994-7915
Fax: (406) 994-5958 mtfirst@coe.montana.edu

Montana FIRST

Starting a FIRST LEGO® League Team

There are a few things every potential FLL Team should know before registering, including how-to register! Here you go...


Season Overview

On-line Team Registration: May - Full Capacity OR mid-September, whichever comes first
Challenge Revealed: September
Building Season: October - November
Tournament Application: Mid-October
Tournament Season: November - February
World Festival: Mid-April

Costs

The coach's handbook contains a sample budget in Appendix A. A general estimate of principal costs for a new team is $700, and $400 for returning teams. Principal costs do not include extras such as team buttons, shirts, travel, etc.

Participation in an FLL event is not included in registration costs and it is not guaranteed. Tournament application typically opens in mid-October. The event participation fee will vary from event to event, but is generally $50-$150 per team.

Please note that all costs may vary from season to season.


Anyone can form a team. It can be a school classroom, after-school program, extracurricular group, home school, neighborhood kids, a club, or civic organization. A team consists of three to 10 kids, ages 9-14 (16 outside of U.S. and Canada), and at least one adult coach.

  • To be eligible, a child cannot be older than 14 on January 1 of the year the Challenge is announced. For example, if a child turns 15 in May of 2008 they are eligible to participate in the 2008 season, whereas a child who turned 15 in December 2007 would not.
  • A child can only be a team member on one team. A child is not allowed to be a member on multiple teams.
  • Any single coach can be the coach for multiple teams. For example, a teacher could be the coach for multiple teams in their classroom.
  • For a number of reasons, it is difficult for us to match an individual with a pre-existing team. Typically, we encourage interested individuals to consider forming their own team.
Components of an FLL Team:

Optional Team Elements:

3-10 Kids Mentors
Adult Coach Additional Coaches
Gracious Professionalism Team Volunteers
Passion, curiosity, and team work

Building a Team, chapter 2 of the Coaches' Handbook, offers detailed information including:

  • Average meeting time
  • Suggestions for mentorship resources
  • Team dynamics
  • Roles and responsibilities

Coaches receive the entire Coaches' Handbook in their Team Registration Packet after registering. The Coaches' Handbook is just one of many resources you have as a coach. Other resources include the team forum where you can talk with other coaches, FLL team support at headquarters, and the FLL Operational Partner in your area, Allison Banfield at the contact information at left.


What You Need To Get Started

Besides eager kids and a willing coach, teams require a place to meet and a few needs within that site. A team needs:

  • Room to meet as a group
  • Space for the 8'x4' playing field
  • Secure storage for robot set, mission models, and partially assembled robots
  • Computer & internet access for programming and research
  • Valid e-mail address for the Coach to receive info from FLL throughout Challenge season

How To Register

Now that you have your questions answered, here's how to become an official team! Know that while an individual coach can coach multiple teams, an individual child can only be on one team.

Step 1: Visit Team Stuff on the FIRST LEGO League website to learn of available resources (The "Start A Team" link provides a step-by-step process)

Step 2: Determine a Coach or main contact for the FLL team. Get their e-mail address and other contact info.

Step 3: Determine where you want your FLL kit to be shipped.

Step 4: Gather your payment information and billing address.
If paying by credit card, statement and billing address must match.

Step 5: Register your FLL Team. Registration typically closes by mid-September and is triggered when all slots are filled.