School of the Minds

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Junior FIRST® LEGO® League

by Victoria Long (Trained Jr. FLL Coach and Registered Volunteer for S.C. Competitions)

$75/student/semester. Maximum of 8 students for the class.

2 to 6 kids will be chosen from this class to participate in the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League.  The League members will need to pay an additional $25 for Jr. FLL registration and T-shirts.  Our Junior FIRST® LEGO® League members will also meet for another class during the week for research.

Jr. FLL is a child-centered program which gives kids a unique and stimulating experience. They are encouraged to learn the value of teamwork and to respect everyone’s ideas and contributions to the team. The core values of Jr. FLL are about appreciating our differences and learning how those differences add to our lives. Jr. FLL succeeds most fully when team members bring these values back to their communities.  According to their website, “Junior FIRST® LEGO® League captures the interest of the youngest learners: Jr. FLL teams are comprised of 2-6 children, ages 6-9. Generally we consider the upper age limit of 9 to be “hard” and the lower limit of 6 to be “soft”. If, after taking in the child’s developmental level, you feel they are capable of participating on a team, then by all means they’re allowed. We have found that kids younger than 6 can be very overwhelmed by the experience and those older than 9 may be bored or not wanting to “play with the little kids”. Remember, for kids that are 9 to 14, FIRST offers the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) program*.”

This year’s challenge is Super Seniors.  “Can Junior FIRST® LEGO® League teams improve the quality of life for seniors by learning about the obstacles some people face as they get older?  In the 2012, SUPER SENIORSSM Challenge, teams will learn about simple machines as they build a model made of LEGO® elements with a motorized moving part and create a team Show Me” Poster to represent their findings. Over 16,000 children ages 6 to 9 from 5 countries will learn about the challenges some seniors may have getting around, keeping in touch with friends and family or staying active and fit.”

* Victoria will be organizing an FLL program in the Fall of 2013.

Victoria’s Coach’s promise:
*  The kids come first. Jr. FLL is about the kids having fun and getting excited about science and technology. Everything my team does starts and ends with that principle.
*  The kids do the work. This is their opportunity to learn and grow. The kids on my team do all of the research, problem solving, and building. Adults can help them find the answers, but cannot give them the answers or make the decisions.
*  My team is comprised of six or fewer members, all team members participate on only one official registered Jr. FLL team, and all team members are no older than 9 on January 1st of the year the Jr. FLL Challenge is released.
* Jr. FLL communicates with my team via the primary email address I provided, and I am responsible for reading and relaying all aspects of Jr. FLL guidelines and rules to my team, other coaches, volunteers, and parents.
* I will encourage my team members, other coaches, volunteers, and team supporters to develop and practice a set of Jr. FLL Values that reflect FIRST’s goal to change culture in a positive way by inspiring others through our team’s actions and words.
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