Focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-9, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) is a hands-on program designed to capture young children's curiosity and direct it toward discovering how science and technology impact the world around them. This program features a real-world challenge, to be explored through research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the Jr.FLL Core Values, team members work with LEGO elements and motorized parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review.
Each yearly Challenge is based on a different theme and has two main parts, the LEGO Model and the Show Me Poster.
Teams consist of two to six children and are guided by at least two adult coaches. During the season they will:
- Conduct research about the current Challenge theme.
- Build a LEGO Model based on the Challenge instructions that contains both a simple machine and a motorized part.
- Display their findings on a Show Me poster.
The culmination of the hard work for many teams is the participation in a Jr.FLL event. Volunteer Reviewers at the event interview the teams to learn about their LEGO Model and Show Me poster. All the teams are celebrated and leave with an award. While participation in a Jr.FLL event is not a requirement, we encourage teams to attend one. Teams can also show off their work on the Jr.FLL Online Showcase. On the Showcase, all teams can share what they’ve learned and have a virtual Expo experience!
Get Involved with Jr.FLL
In addition to being a team member, there are many ways to get involved with Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®). Whether you have played with LEGO® elements your whole life or even if you have never heard of them, you can help with Jr.FLL!
The coach is a critical element of the team. The coach guides the team through the season, facilitating discussion, and problem solving along the way. You do not need to have a technical background to be a coach, just a willingness to learn with the kids. The coach is the main point of contact and is responsible for disseminating all information to the team.
When a coach registers a team they will have instant access to the Coaches’ Manual through the Jr.FLL Online Showcase.
The Coaches’ Manual contains helpful hints to run a successful Jr.FLL season. You will find sample schedules for your season, as well as icebreaker and team-building activities to help you get started. New and veteran coaches can rely on this guide to help them plan team meetings.
Mentoring is another crucial role. Although it is not completely necessary for a team to have a Mentor, Mentors can provide guidance in an area of expertise that greatly benefits the team. In addition to adults, older siblings and cousins can make great Mentors for Jr.FLL teams. Mentors do not necessarily have to be present at every meeting; they can be used just as a resource.
There are multiple ways to sponsor Jr.FLL. You can sponsor a local team, a community Jr.FLL event, or the overall Jr.FLL program. Sponsorship can be monetary or material - donating food, buttons, or equipment all help teams have a positive experience. Another form of sponsorship is donating space to host events or allowing employees to volunteer with teams.
Events for Jr.FLL teams need volunteers to make the event run smoothly. Duties for volunteers at these events range from crowd control to welcoming guests and participants. You could also volunteer directly with a team and help out at meetings along the way.
Jr.FLL presents the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved too. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and others can all take an active role in this exciting program.