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Contact Us

Montana FIRST

Mailing Address:
Dr. Donna Minton
Montana FIRST
3317 Fieldstone Dr. W.
Bozeman, MT 59715
donna@montana.edu

Location:
Sheree Watson
313 Roberts Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
Tel: (406) 994-6723
Fax: (406) 994-6665
swatson@coe.montana.edu

> College of Engineering > Montana FIRST
FIRST LEGO League

Starting a Team

Anyone can form a team, whether or not there is a technical background. A team can be a school class, after-school program, extracurricular group, home school, neighborhood group, club, or civic organization. A team consists of three to ten kids, ages 9-14, and at least one adult coach, which can be a teacher, parent, or adult volunteer. An adult coach can be the coach for multiple teams, but a child can be on only one 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 late September, whichever comes first
  • Challenge Revealed: September
  • Building Season: October - November
  • Tournament Application: Mid-October
  • Tournament Season: November - January
  • World Festival: Mid-April

Costs

This sample budget illustrates the required and some optional costs. A general estimate of principle costs for a new team is $700 and $400 for returning teams. Principle costs do not include extras such as team buttons, shirts, travel, etc. The Registration Information page in the Team Community area has detailed information on registration and product costs.

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.

Organizing a Team

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 ten kids, ages 9-14, 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 2007 they are eligible to participate in the 2007 season, whereas a child who turned 15 in December 2006 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  
Teamwork  

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 your Montana FLL Partner, Donna Minton.

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 Resources to learn of available resources
Step 2: Determine a Coach or main contact person 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 to.
Step 4: Gather your payment information and billing address.
If paying by credit card, statement and billing address must match.
Step 5: Go to FLL Registration!

Your school is interested in FLL, what can they do? By starting an FLL team, a school can literally change the lives of hundreds of its students. The program is able to effectively engage children from various backgrounds, instilling new ideas and concepts in young minds. Schools can do this by:

  • Spreading the word about FLL
  • Encouraging parents to form teams
  • Providing space for teams to work
  • Being a tournament site
  • Helping mentor/coach a team
  • Supporting teachers introducing the idea
  • Bringing FLL into the classroom
View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 9/7/07
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