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Girl Scout Robotic Opportunities 2019/2020

Girls and volunteers can participate in all levels of FIRST Robotics as Girl Scouts. Below are some frequently asked questions for interested girls, coaches, or groups looking to form a team. Please note that some of this information has been changed from previous years in order to give girls more opportunities and adults the ability to work directly with experts to help them as coaches. 

What is FIRST Robotics?

FIRST is a national organization that offers robotics competitions for children in grades K-12.

What are the programs for different age levels?

Programs are offered for grades K-12 as listed below. The rest of the FAQs focus on FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League. If you have questions or are interested in the FIRST TECH Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition please follow the links or reach out to firstak@jedc.org.

  • FIRST LEGO League Jr. - Grades K-4
    • It's never too early to discover STEM. FIRST LEGO League Jr.* is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love -- LEGO*. Learn more here.
              
  • FIRST LEGO League - Grades 4-8
    • When students are engaged in hands-on STEM experiences, they build confidence, grow their knowledge, and develop habits of learning. When adults coach these students, they encourage them to try, fail, and try again, while connecting STEM concepts to real-world examples. Learn more here
  • FIRST Tech Challenge - Grades 7-12
    • It's way more than building robots, FIRST Tech Challenge teams (up to 15 team members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Learn more here
          
  • FIRST Robotics Competition - Grades 9-12
    • Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, we call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High school student participants call it, "the hardest fun you'll ever have." Learn more here
Who makes up a team?
  • A FIRST LEGO League Jr. team is made up of 2 or more adult coaches (no special technical experience is required) and up to 6 kids in grades K-4. 
  • A FIRST LEGO League team is made up of 2 or more adult coaches (no special technical experience is required) and up to 10 kids in grades 4-8. 
How does a team register?

Teams can register at www.firstinspires.org.

How much does a FIRST robotics team cost?

There are no "per student" fees; all costs are assumed by the team as a whole. Costs vary depending on how each team runs, but a few costs are consistent.

  • FIRST LEGO League Jr. 
    • Each year
      • Team registration and Inspire set - $114.00 (includes shipping)
    • Reusable
      • LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Core Set - $104.00 (includes shipping)
  • FIRST LEGO League
    • Each year
      • team registration - $235.00 
      • Challenge set - $90.00 (includes shipping)
      • Tournament fees - usually around $50 for regional and $100 for state
      • Your team may have other costs such as t-shirts, snacks, and travel costs
    • Reusable
      • EV3 Robot set - $496.00
What does it mean to be a Girl Scout team?

Girl Scout teams have the unique aspect that they are all-girl teams where girls can practice leadership, problem-solving, and STEM skills together. Many girls are more willing to take risks, try something new, or voice their ideas in an all-girl environment. By having all-girl teams, Girl Scouts can practice their skills before putting them in action in a co-ed environment. 

Does the coach need to do anything extra to register their Girl Scout team?

Coaches for Girl Scout teams need to be registered adult Girl Scout members and background checked through the Girl Scout systems. Coaches also need to make sure that all girls have a current Girl Scout membership. Team rosters including coaches and girls should be turned in to Kelly FitzGerald at kfitzgerald@girlscoutsalaska.org to receive patches for each team member. 

How do coaches collect money and keep track of fees?

Girl Scout teams should open a Girl Scout bank account where you can deposit money and pay your fees from. To get started with a bank account, contact accounting at accounting@girlscoutsalaska.org. Troops that would like to also be a robotics team may use their troop bank account. 

Are there grants to help get new teams started?

To find out more about grand availability click here. You can also email firstak@jedc.org with questions.

How do coaches find out about training and other help to get started?

Start by visiting www.jedc.org/firstinalaska/training. You can also send questions to firstak@jedc.org.