Educators/ Admin FAQ

Check out the complied list of frequently asked questions! Click each question to find out more about the answer and available resources. You can find more FAQ pages geared towards students/parentsvolunteers, and teams/coaches (especially if you have already started a team).

How is the FIRST® LEGO® League Explore program aligned to educational standards in Virginia and DC?

Alignment to the Virginia Standards of Learning: This document outlines direct and indirect alignments between FIRST® LEGO® League Explore and the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) in English, Math, Science, and Computer Science for grades 2-4. Virginia is releasing new Computer Technology standards this year and we will reevaluate this alignment at that time.

FIRST® LEGO® League Explore content is aligned to the following…
21st Century Skills
CASEL- Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning
Common Core – Math & Language Arts
CSTA – Computer Science Teachers Association
ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education
ITEEA – International Technology Engineering Education Association
NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards

What is a Class Pack? How is it different from a competitive team registration?

If you are interested in official events hosted by VA+DC FIRST® LEGO® League and have the potential for progression to regional or national events, consider starting the individual team pathway to be nationally recognized.

In contrast, Class Packs are designed to be run by the school or organization. The objective of a “Class Pack” is to provide flexible curricular options designed to develop STEM and other 21st century skills. Additionally, this option allows schools to run their own culminating event.

Are there any professional development opportunities for teachers or support staff?

FIRST Certified Professional Development is an immersive learning experience designed for teachers, facilitators, coaches, and mentors to acquire or strengthen project-based learning facilitation skills and gain experience with all aspects of one of the FIRST programs. Each course is led by a FIRST Certified Trainer and provides anyone new to facilitating FIRST the tools and confidenceto bring FIRST programs to your classroom or as a structured afterschool program. Certificates for continuing education or professional development credit are provided following the completion of the session.

During your chosen session, you will use hands-on practice through modeling and demonstration of STEM learning objectives within FIRST programs. Each session is designed to:
– Apply and facilitate a project-based learning environment through active engagement.
– Grow your knowledge, skills, and methods of STEM and playful learning teaching methods.
– Practice student elements of your FIRST program and best practices for implementation.
– Emphasize educational best practices for student engagement.

Learn more here

How do you recruit and select team members in a school setting?

*Coming Soon 2024*

What is the cost of a FIRST® LEGO® League Explore team? Are there any grants available?

The cost to participate ranges depending on the the level of the team and resources that might already be available. Rookie or beginning teams should expect to pay more, while veteran teams will be able to use certain materials and resources from year to year.

One of the major purchases is a LEGO® Spike Essentials kit. This kit provides a small programmable computer, and enough motors and LEGO® parts to make a machine. If your team already has access to a kit, you can use that kit and not purchase a new one. Returning teams are able to reuse the kit each year.

To find out more about developing a team budget and what is required, check out our Team Budget & Funding page.

Team grants are available on a seasonal and regional basis. To see more resources on how to fund your team through grants, take a look at the “Team Grants” section of our Team Budget & Funding page.

What is the FIRST® Youth Protection Program?

The purpose of the FIRST® Youth Protection Program (FIRST® YPP) is to provide Coaches, Mentors, Volunteers, employees, others working in FIRST® programs, team members, parents, and guardians of team members with information, guidelines, and procedures to create safe environments for everyone participating in FIRST® programs.

The FIRST® YPP sets minimum standards recommended for all FIRST® activities. Adults working in FIRST® programs must be knowledgeable of the standards set by the FIRST® YPP, as well as those set by the school or organization hosting their team.

FIRST® expects all teams in the United States and Canada to adhere to all provisions of the FIRST® YPP.