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This page is primarily for those interested in becoming involved in FIRST LEGO League
Current FIRST LEGO League Coaches will find helpful information here.

FIRST LEGO League Program Description

FIRST LEGO League in pictures and video

What is the FIRST LEGO League Challenge about?

Thinking about coaching an FIRST LEGO League Team?

What is FIRST®?

What is ORTOP?

ORTOP Mission Statement

Can ORTOP help me find a team for my child?

Where are FIRST LEGO League teams located in Oregon?

ORTOP FIRST LEGO League Workshops for Adults

What should I expect if I'm a FIRST LEGO League coach or mentor?

What would I see if I visited a FIRST LEGO League team meeting?
What kind of robot does a FIRST LEGO League team need?

What do I need to know about the EV3?

Do you have the basic info in a handout?

Is there any financial aid to help teams get started?

What about tournaments?

FIRST LEGO League Program Costs

What is the age policy for FIRST LEGO League?

Tournament Event FAQ

FIRST LEGO League Tournaments in Oregon


FIRST LEGO League in Oregon


The FIRST LEGO League program is an excellent way for young people to experience the excitement of technical creativity and gain insights in the possibility of a a technical careers. Participating on an FIRST LEGO League team is a fun way to learn about mechanical design and computer programming as well as teamwork and other life skills. No previous technical or programming experience is required to join a team. The robots are programmed using a "flow chart" rather than a traditional programming language. Coaches often have the help of a technical mentor to teach the team members how to build and program a robot.

In FIRST LEGO League 9- to 14-year-old youngsters learn to design and build autonomous robots using special LEGO kits. The program includes a 10- to 12-week period in which youngsters form teams, develop robots that can respond to individual tasks as part of an overall Challenge, then compete at one of the many tournaments we hold in Oregon and SW Washington. Through this process, youngsters experience the fun and excitement of solving problems in a positive and supportive team environment.


FIRST LEGO League Youtube Channel


Get in the Game!

Video explanation of a previous year’s robot mission

What is the FIRST LEGO League Challenge about?

Each year FIRST LEGO League teams embark on an adventurous Challenge based on current, real-world issues. Guided by a team coach and assisted by mentors, the kids:
  • Research and solve a real-world problem based on the Challenge theme
  • Present their research and solutions
  • Build an autonomous robot using engineering concepts

Using the yearly Challenges, FIRST LEGO League:

  • Entices kids to think like scientists and engineers
  • Provides a fun, creative, hands-on learning experience
  • Teaches kids to experiment and overcome obstacles
  • Builds self-esteem and confidence
  • Inspires kids to participate in science and technology

No matter what the child’s subject interest, FIRST LEGO League offers an opportunity for engagement. Whether it is by creativity, technology, or research, FIRST LEGO League dares kids to test, explore, expand, or completely change thoughts and approaches for different sciences each year.


Thinking about coaching an FIRST LEGO League Team?

Are you new to FIRST LEGO League and LEGO robotics? Each year there are many new coaches, mentors, judges, and referees that get involved for with our program. Focusing on coaching a team for a moment, you should know

  • Coaches aren't expected to be technical experts. They focus on organizing the team. The team members are responsible for building the robot, etc.
  • We have a special award category at our many Qualifying Tournaments (QT) that is highlight outstanding work by young and rookie team members.
  • The annual challenge and research project is organized so brand new teams can learn as much or more as an experience team and have a lot of fun doing it. For instance the annual challenge is organized into a set of missions, some much easier than others. A new team should choose two or three simple missions and focus on building a robot to achieve them.
  • We offer free workshops for prospective new coaches.
  • Teams can be affiliated with schools, scouts, neighborhoods, churches, etc. All that's required is that at least one adult take responsibility for organizing the team and getting it registered.
  • If you want to organize a team that is affiliated with your child's school, consider asking your child's teacher for permission to use a classroom for an information meeting of children and adults and ask your child's classmates to take home invitations to their parents. You may want to use the 2013 Oregon FIRST flyer to help get the word out. Or show them the "What is FIRST LEGO League in Oregon"
  • We provide answers to your questions and concerns by email and telephone.
  • It's all about learning and fun!
What is FIRST®?

FIRST®- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology

An international non-profit organization called FIRST , located in Manchester, NH, organizes an annual network of robotics tournaments under the names FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. FIRST focuses on promoting science and technology to young people. They have formed a network of robotics tournaments that use 3 unique types of robotics kits. Over the last several years, similar robotics tournaments held in other states and countries have proven to be extremely valuable in inspiring young people's interest in science and technology and preparing them to enter tomorrow's workforce. Click here to link to the FIRST website

What is ORTOP?

The Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTOP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. ORTOP serves as the Affiliate Partner for FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League Jr and FIRST Tech Challenge in Oregon and SW Washington.

To accomplish its mission, ORTOP uses a 3 programs developed and distributed by the FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) an internationally recognized educational foundation located in Manchester, New Hampshire. These three programs are FIRST LEGO LeagueFIRST LEGO League Jr and FIRST Tech Challenge.

The ORTOP Board is made up of volunteers from the programs sponsors and partners and well as private individuals. Many adult volunteers will organize and coach teams this year, while close additional volunteers will plan and stage workshops, scrimmages and the Championship Tournament. These volunteers come from many sources, including sponsors and community partners.


ORTOP Mission Statement To open doors to the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Oregon’s youth by providing educational opportunities featuring robotics with special emphasis on maximizing the diversity of those participating  In addition to FIRST Tech Challenge, ORTOP also implements Jr. FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League.
Can ORTOP help me find a team for my child?

Yes and No.
PLEASE NOTE------ ORTOP cannot place children onto existing teams, give out coach contact information or connect parents with current coaches. This is the policy of the FIRST® organization.
1) We suggest that you ask at the school office if a FIRST LEGO League team exists and who to contact.
2) Consider starting your own team.
3) Consult this Team Up! - a matching service provided by FIRST®
4) Check with your local 4-H office. Many counties have FIRST LEGO League teams.

Where are teams located in Oregon?

In nearly every county in Oregon.

Starting your own team is easy. We even provide workshops for new coaches.

ORTOP FIRST LEGO LeagueWorkshops for Adults
Schedule and Registration

June – September
Portland Area

ORTOP Workshops offered for adults to learn how to be coaches and mentors. Held in Portland Metro area.

Outside of Portland

If there is interest, ORTOP will hold Extended Saturday workshops in Southern, Eastern, and Central Oregon during the summer.

Workshop I – Introduction to FIRST® LEGO® League, ORTOP and LEGO Robotics.

Learn the basics of getting started in FIRST LEGO League, hand-on building an EV3 robot and learn some basic programming.

Workshop II – Coaching and Mentoring Techniques

Focus on specific parts of the FIRST LEGO League program - Robot Game, Project and Core Values, best practices for being a coach/mentor, continue to learn programming using robot built in Workshop I

Workshop III – Robotics Techniques

Focus on learning important programming and mechanical design techniques to teach skills to your team. Will use robot built in Workshop II.

Programming Workshop

Intended for coaches/mentors wanting to extend their team's skills tool box by learning more advanced programming techniques and programming solutions. Rookie Coaches must have attended Workshop I and II prior to attending the Programming Workshop or have at least one year of FIRST LEGO League coaching experience. Each programming workshop on the schedule is the same workshop. It is not a series workshop. 

OneDay – All Day Extended Saturday – combines Workshops I, II & III

Each workshop includes some aspect of learning to build and program an NXT Robot as well as the aspects of the tournament elements and procedure/paperwork details.

Also for teachers! SuperQuest (community partner of  ORTOP), Next SuperQuest will be in June 2016.
Low cost Professional Development Summer Training for teachers in LEGO Robotics & other tech topics
What should I expect if I'm a FIRST LEGO League coach or mentor? Click here to read an informative description about being an FIRST LEGO League coach or mentor
What would I see if I visited a FIRST LEGO League team meeting?

If you visited a FIRST LEGO League team meeting you would see 6 -10 kids, ages 9 – 14, working with a LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot kit.  A few kids would be using the 1000+ parts in the kit to construct a LEGO Robot with motors, sensors (Light, Touch, Ultrasonic-distance and/or Sound) and the main brick that acts as the robot’s computer. The robot would also have 3 or 4 wheels or a pair of tracks to help it move around. 
Other kids would be at a 4’ x 8‘ mat in a FIRST LEGO League competition table with LEGO mission Models. They would be figuring out strategies for the robot’s path or working with LEGO elements to construct attachments for the robot push, pull or lift items on the mission models to achieve the task.

Other team members are on the internet/looking in books researching the team’s Project.  The Project is a 5-minute presentation of the team’s solution to the annual research project.

And everyone is working as a team!

What kind of robot does a FIRST LEGO League team need?

This season LEGO Education has introduced the next generation of LEGO Mindstorm robots. The EV3 the only model currently for sale on LEGO Education. The RCX and NXT remain as legal robotic platforms for FIRST LEGO League for teams that own these systems. 

EV3 Core Set $339.95
EV3 Expansion Set - $99.95
EV3 Software - - $99.95

The above three items are sold as a bundled set for $439 when purchased with a FIRST LEGO League national registration.


PRICING AND PRODUCTS LIST: On the FIRST LEGO League national registation site, purchasers are given a list of many, many items to buy. Not all of these are necessary to have a FIRST LEGO League Team.
ORTOP recommends each team have an EV3 LEGO League Robot Set.

What do teams do and how do we get started

The adult coach for each team should register the team at the FIRST LEGO League web site. The registration fee is $225, which stays with FIRST -- the national non-profit organization that organizes tournaments all over the country and internationally. Once the team has registered and paid the registration fee, it will receive a coaches handbook that includes basic info on team building, rolls, funding raising hints, brainstorming techniques, etc. The team registration fee includes one team membership (up to 10 children) to the FIRST LEGO League International program; access to the FIRST LEGO League on-line web community and the FIRST LEGO League International forum; coach and team resource tools; and customer, technical, and engineering support from FIRST Headquarters. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization. The team registration fee contributes to the growth and sustainability of the FIRST LEGO League program and supports ongoing program developments. Teams can also purchase the kits they will need at the same time they register.

Financial Support is available through ORTOP for teams that cannot otherwise afford to participate in the FIRST LEGO League program

Each year the robot challenge involves multiple missions arranged on a 4 foot by 8 foot mat where mission elements in a standard way. Each team will design a robot that will solve as many parts of the mission as possible. The details will be announced the end of August. National team registration runs from May through the end of September, or until all registration slots are filled. This has happened in late September. In early October, teams can register fo ra qualifying tournaments. In Oregon teams will register for Oregon Qualifying Tournaments (QT). Winners from the Qualifying Tournaments will advance to one of two Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments. .

Teams will have about two months to prepare their robot for a qualifying tournament. Qualifyingl Tournaments are held during the second and third weekends of December.

Do you have the basic info in a handout? Yes! FIRST LEGO League at a Glance in Oregon.
Is there any financial aid to help teams get started?

ORTOP has a limited budget to cover fees, robot kits or tournament materials to schools and community organizations serving students that meet financial aid requirements based on free and reduced lunch status.


What about tournaments? ORTOP holds many FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournaments and two state championships. Every FIRST LEGO League team in Oregon attends one qualifying tournament and 120 teams advance to the state championships.

Program Costs

Sample budget for new FLL team

Sample budget for veteran FLL team

FIRST® LEGO® League National Registration (up to 10 students)


FIRST® LEGO® League annual challenge Field Set-up Kit - NEW Each Season!
(can be shared by two or more teams at one location)


LEGO®  Mindstorm EV3 FIRST LEGO League Competition Robot Kit with software (reusable each year)


Total Shipping and Handling for a new team


ORTOP Qualifying Tournament Registration Fee. The requested fee for qualifying tournaments is $200 to cover the team's share of the cost of event and the support leading up to it.  Teams can request a discount of up to $100 based on need. Requests for discount can be made during online registration with ORTOP in October. All complete requests for discounts will be approved.
This fee is paid directly to ORTOP.  


** ORTOP Championship Tournament Registration Fee. About 25% of teams do well enough to be invited to a Championship Tournament. The requested fee is $240. Teams can request a discount of up to $120 based on need.


Materials to build a 4’ x 8’ competition table for field set-up kit  
(reusable each year –can be shared by two or more teams at one location)

$50 - $100 range

** Championship Registration Fee is only paid by teams advancing from their Qualifying Tournament

Age Policy and Grade Levels

What is the age policy for FIRST LEGO League? FIRST LEGO League is for children in grades 4 through 8
If your children are in grades K through 3 FIRST LEGO League Jr
If your children are in grades 7 or 8 If they have never participated in a FIRST robotics program before, we recommend they start with FIRST LEGO League
If they have previous experience with FIRST LEGO League they may want to transition to FIRST Tech Challenge
If your children are in grades 9 through 12 FIRST Tech Challenge or
FIRST Robotics Competition
If you don't have any children or grandchildren in grades K through 12 Volunteer opportunities with FIRST!

FIRST LEGO League Events in Oregon

How would you describe your tournaments? Our robotics events combine the high energy of a rock concert, the competitiveness and mascots of an NCAA final four competition,the intensity and technology of the NASCAR pits, the showmanship of a Broadway play, and our unique FIRST traditions starting with a spirit of "Gracious Professionalism."
------Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST
Is the public welcome to attend the events?


Oregon FIRST® LEGO® League Qualifying Tournaments
and the Intel Oregon FIRST® LEGO® League Championships presented by Rockwell Collins are free and open to the public*.
We encourage you to stop by and watch the exciting action as our FIRST LEGO League teams compete in this year's

*All events are open to the public with the exception of events at Intel Jones Farm. Due to space limitations, events at Intel Jones Farm are only open to team members and their families.

Looking for a FIRST LEGO League Team to cheer for?
  • ORTOP will host over 25 Qualifying Events throughout Oregon in early December.
  • 12 to 20 teams will participate at each Qualifying Event
  • The schedule for the tournamets will be posted in October.
Are you a coach wanting to register a team for an Oregon Qualifying Tournament?
  • AFTER national FIRST LEGO League registration closes in late Sept/early October, ORTOP will post a link (and send it by email) to all nationally registered FIRST LEGO League coaches in Oregon and SW Washington. Oregon FIRST LEGO League
  • Qualifying Tournament registration will stay open for about 10 days.
  • Qualifying Tournament Assignments will be posted in mid-to-late October.