Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August Announcements: Sliding into AQUA ADVENTURE

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this update you will find:
  1. How to register for FIRST LEGO League Jr AQUA ADVENTURE
  2. Is a Season Pass right for my organization or school?
  3. AQUA ADVENTURE Inspire Set
  4. What is the difference between WeDo 2.0 Core, and WeDo 2.0 for FIRST LEGO League Jr?
  5. What is LEGO Boost?
  6. Moving to FIRST LEGO League

Monday, June 19, 2017

LEGO Grants, Aqua Adventure Inspire Sets, and a new website

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,
AQUA ADVENTURE logo
In this newsletter you will find:

  1. FIRST LEGO League Jr Season Pass Grants available! - Due July 14
  2. FIRST LEGO League Jr Inspire Set, What's Different?
  3. ORTOP.org is Getting an Upgrade!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Preparing for AQUA ADVENTURE

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this post you will find:
  1. Evergreen Aviation Eagle Expo - Saturday!
  2. Where is my team roster/Global Showcase?
  3. National Registration Opens May 11
  4. New National Fees, Same Expo Application Fee
  5. What is a Site License?

1) Evergreen Aviation Eagle Expo - Saturday!
Please join us for the Eagle Expo this Saturday at Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville! 16 teams will be sharing their CREATURE CRAZEsm models and Show Me Posters. Join us upstairs! Opening Ceremonies begin at 10:30am and Closing Ceremonies are scheduled to begin around 12:30pm. We will be in the free area of the museum, museum admission is not required for spectators.

2) Where is my team roster/Global Showcase?
FIRST has already reset their systems for the 2017-2018 AQUA ADVENTUREsm season. This means you will no longer have access to any digital information for the CREATURE CRAZE season. If you still need to create a roster for a May or June expo please have each coach and team member complete a paper consent form and create a roster using Word or Excel. Your Roster needs the official team number, the team name, each coach's name, and each team member's name.  Print the roster and staple the consent forms for each person to the back.
English Consent Form
Spanish Consent Form

3) National Registration Opens May 11
Registration, for the first time, will open on the same day as the other FIRST programs, May 11. This means your team, school, or youth organization can use this year's funds to register for next year's program. Your materials will be shipped in August for the new season!  Additionally, both coaches are not needed to start your registration and pay for your team, this year. Team Admins may pre-purchase teams for the fall and have their coaches sign-up at a later time. Please remember that FIRST DOES NOT offer refunds for team registration. Please only register if you are sure you will have a team!

4) New National Fees, Same Oregon Expo Application Fee
FIRST LEGO League Jr is seeing one big change (with more information to come in June). The Inspire model is being upgraded to a LEGO Inspire kit!
The AQUA ADVENTURE Inspire Set box as seen at the World Festival

To include this bigger LEGO set as part of the team registration the National Registration costs have gone up.  Here is the 2017-2018 National Registration Fees:


FIRST LEGO League Jr
2017-2018 Fee
Single Team Registration
$99
Season Pass (Small) – 144 kids
$895
Season Pass (Large) – 288 kids
$1750

5) What is a Site License?
Organizations who would like to have a multi-session or year-round FIRST LEGO League Jr program may purchase a Season Pass instead of individual team registrations. Each pass may be used on a semester or trimester schedule (you could possibly do quarters, but teams would need to meet more often during that time). The idea is you receive 12 or 24 Inspire Sets (small vs a large pass) that are reused throughout the year by different teams, along with the LEGO or WeDo kits. The teams do not need to meet in the same building. It is perfectly fine to share across libraries or schools in a district. The pass comes with enough engineering notebooks for 144 or 288 team members, and 12 or 24 Team Meeting Guides for the coach, these also need to be transferred with the LEGO. Schools, Districts, Youth Organizations, or even a high school FIRST team can order the season pass to facilitate FIRST LEGO League Jr programs from August through June.

If you think a Season Pass is right for your group, but want to know more. Please feel free to contact Loridee-Wetzel@ortop.org.

Best Wishes,
Loridee

Monday, April 17, 2017

Last Call for teams to attend the Expos at Evergreen Aviation Museum

This week is your team's last chance to sign up to attend the FIRST LEGO League Jr Expos at Evergreen Aviation Museum on May 6. Currently 2 expos are being planned; however, if enough teams do not register we will consolidate them into one event.

Eagle Expo: 9:30am -12:30pm
Falcon Expo: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

If your team has not applied to attend this event, please register using this link.

These expos are free and open to the public. The expo will take place on the mezzanine in the Evergreen Aviation Museum. We will be overlooking the Spruce Goose. The stairway and elevator can be accessed by the children's area. Spectators who would also like to see the museum may purchase admission at the education discount of $15 for both museums, or $18 for both museums and a movie! Team members and 2 adult coaches will receive wristbands for museum admission.

Teams can not apply to attend this event AFTER Sunday, April 23rd. Event assignment will be sent out the week of April 24th.

Best Wishes,
Loridee

Monday, April 3, 2017

Creature Craze National Registration Closes, Evergreen Expo, World Festival

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this post you will find:
  1. National Registration for Creature Craze Closes
  2. Evergreen Aviation Expo Registration Open
  3. Aqua Adventure Registration Information
  4. Good Luck Oregon teams at the World Festival
  5. DonorsChoose.org and Newscorp Partner for FIRST

1) National Registration for Creature Craze Closes
FIRST LEGO League Jr National Registration for the 2016 season, Creature Craze closes on April 4. If your team would like to participate in the challenge, now is the time to finish your national registration. 
  • Go to www.firstinspires.org
  • Login using the option in the upper right corner
  • Select PAY THIS SEASON'S TEAM REGISTRATION from the Dashboard
  • If there are any errors, please fix them before proceeding.
Your team must have two adult coaches who have completed the YPP background check with Verified Volunteers. Your team must also have a physical address listed for the Inspire kit to be shipped to. These are the two most common problems for teams this year.

Feel free to email with questions or concerns. If your question is about the background check, the web form may be faster than me. 

2) Evergreen Aviation Expo Registration Open
All Nationally registered teams are welcome to register to attend the Evergreen Aviation FIRST LEGO League Jr expos on May 6. 

On May 6, 2017 at the Evergreen Aviation Museum
From 9am-1pm the Eagle Expo 
From 1:30pm-5:30pm the Falcon Expo
*Team animals do not need to correspond to the names Eagle and Falcon, these are just fun names used to tell the expos apart.
**While we will try to hold the expo in a free part of the museum, spectators will need admission to see the museum. Discounted rates are available for team family members and friends. Team members and their 2 adult coaches will receive free admission to the museum.

If your team already attended the OMSI expo, you may still attend the Evergreen expos if there is space. Your team needs to register again and will need to pay the expo registration fee if selected. Preference will be given to teams who have not attended an official expo.

3) Aqua Adventure Registration Information
Aqua Adventure registration will open in May with materials to ship on August 1. If you would like to stay ahead on your planning your team can prepare to register early! Registration costs are going up for the 2017 season, as each registration now comes with all the LEGO you need, except for the WeDo 2.0 kit. 

An Individual team National Registration will be $99 for Aqua Adventure
A small season pass for up to 144 kindergarten through 4th-grade students will be $895 
A large season pass for up to 288 kindergarten through 4th-grade students will be $1,750

Season passes may be shared by schools, libraries, museums, or across a school district. The season pass is designed to be used as a rotating program with 1/3 - 1/2 the teams operating in the fall and the other groups in the winter and/or spring, depending on if the program is run in trimesters or semesters. If you would like more information about using a season pass at your organization please feel free to contact Loridee-Wetzel@ortop.org.

Is your team closer to Hood River and The Dalles? One more expo is in the works, please watch for more communication soon!

4) Good Luck Oregon teams at the World Festival
The FIRST World Championships and World Festival for Oregon teams will be in Houston, Texas on April 19-22nd. 

Representing Oregon will be:
FIRST LEGO League Jr team:
8286 Bumblebee Jr, Friends & Family, Portland - chosen by lottery in January

FIRST LEGO League our first place Champion's Award winners
11687, The Pandroids, Wy'east Middle School, Hood River
1833, The G.E.A.R.S. (Girls Engineering and Robotics Superstars), West Linn/Tualatin neighborhood team, Tualatin 

FIRST Tech Challenge teams:
750, Gears in Motion, Tigard High School, Tigard - Lottery Winner
3525, Dynamite Robotics, Banks High School, Banks - Lottery Winner
4855, Batteries in Black, Washington County 4H, Portland - 3rd Place Connect Award & Winning Alliance
7013, Hot Wired, Westview High School, Portland - 2nd Place Innovate Award
7750, Mechanical Maniacs, 4H, Sutherlin - Highest Ranked Team from Cascade Winning Division
8045, Gromit’s Grommets, Pleasant Hill High School, Pleasant Hill - Control Award Winner & Finalist Alliance
8176, Steelhead, Hood River Valley High School, Hood River - Think Award Winner; 3rd Place Motivate Award
9769, Total Chaos, Total Chaos 4H Club, Portland - Connect Award Winner
10060, Klamath Coyotes, Eagle Ridge High School, Klamath - 3rd Place Innovate Award

We hope to add several FIRST Robotics Competition teams to this list and wish all Oregon FIRST Robotics Competition teams the best of luck in their District Championship this week in Cheney, WA. 

5) DonorsChoose.org and Newscorp Partner for FIRST
Through a generous donation from NewsCorp in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, funding is available to help start or support a FIRST® team. Funding is available to any educator in a public or public charter school located in the United States, employed full time by the school or school district and works directly with students at least 75 percent of the time. Funding can be used for registration fees, materials, reasonable and customary FIRST team travel costs. Tell the educators in your area to visit www.donorschoose.org/first to get started


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Last Chance to Register for the OMSI Expos

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this post you will find:

  1. Final days to register for the OMSI Expos
  2. Evergreen Expos
  3. World Festival
  4. Other FIRST Events in Oregon
1) Final days to register for the OMSI Expos
Registration for the OMSI Expos will close this weekend! If your team would like to share their season at the OMSI Expos, please register through this link and pay the Expo Registration Fee for your team by Sunday night. While registration is listed to close on Friday, I will be at the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship until Monday. You will only receive a verification of your payment through our online credit card system. The registration system DOES NOT send a verification of receipt.

If your team has submitted an application for this event, you will be notified of your event assignment on Monday. Teams who have asked to be with other teams will be accommodated as long as both teams as for the same event and space allows. 

Information about all Oregon Expos can be found at: http://www.ortop.org/jfll/overviewEXPO.htm

2) Evergreen Expos
Registration will remain open for the Evergreen Expos on Saturday, May 6 until two weeks prior to the event. Which will be April 22nd. Teams will be notified of their assignment the week after. If your team has attended the OMSI expo, they are allowed to register and pay again to attend the Evergreen Expo, however; teams who have not attended an Expo will be given priority. Please use the same link to apply for the Evergreen Expos.

3) World Festival
This year FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon will be represented at the World Festival in Houston by Team 8286 Bumblebees from Bethany Elementary School, Beaverton. Bumblebees was drawn by lottery and will present their Creature Craze model and Show-Me Poster in Houston, Texas April 20-22, 2017. Good luck Bumblebees! We hope you have a wonderful event!

4) Other FIRST Events in Oregon
FIRST LEGO League Jr leads to 3 more programs, all of which are competing in Oregon this month! We hope to see you at one of these events!

February 26 - FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship, Benson Polytechnic High School, Portland. Opening Ceremonies start at 9:15am and Competition will go until 4:00pm.

March 4 & 5 - Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League State Championships, Glencoe High School, Hillsboro. Opening Ceremonies will be at 9am each day, and robot competitions will run until 2:20 each day. FIRST LEGO League Jr teams are invited for a behind the scene tour on Saturday at 2:30pm on Saturday March 4. Teams need to sign up using this form at least 48 hours before the event.

March 9-11 - FIRST Robotics Competition Wilsonville District Tournament, Wilsonville High School, Wilsonville. Competitions take place during the day on March 10 and 11. Come see this year's game STEAMWORKS!

March 23-25 - FIRST Robotics Competition CAIS District Tournament, Jackson Campus, Oregon City. Competitions are during the day on March 24 & 25.

March 30-April 1 - FIRST Robotics Competition Lake Oswego District Tournament, Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego. Join the competition at this new event on March 31 and April 1. 

Best Wishes,
Loridee

Friday, February 3, 2017

Information Night, Expo Info, and Next Steps

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this post you will find:
  1. Lottery for teams to attend the World Championship from Oregon closes Feb 13
  2. Coach and Parent Information Night in Hood River
  3. How to register for an official Oregon Expo
  4. FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition happenings and volunteers needed
1) Lottery for teams to attend the World Championship from Oregon closes Feb 13
If your FIRST LEGO League Jr team would like to represent Oregon at the World Festival in Houston, Texas. There is still time to put your name in the drawing. The selected team will need to cover all fees and travel expenses to participate in the World Festival with teams from other states and countries. 

The World Festival is in Houston Texas from April 20-22nd.

2) Coach and Parent Information Night in Hood River
Are you, or is someone you know interested in learning more about FIRST LEGO League Jr for the young people in their life or for the Kindergarten through 4th-grade classroom? Please join me on February 15th for a FIRST LEGO League Jr information session!

6:00pm February 15, 2017
2990 Experiment Station Dr
Hood River, OR 

Attendees are welcome to bring beverages and snacks. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions, see the LEGO WeDo 2.0 system, and learn about FIRST LEGO League Jr.  You do not need to sign-up to attend, there will be lots of room for all adults.  Kids may come, but the content will be focused for adults.

3) How to register for an official Oregon Expo
We will have 7 Official FIRST LEGO League Jr Expos in Oregon. These expos are open to any team who has an official national registration number. To register for an expo please complete the application form here. You will also need to pay an expo application fee for each expo your team wishes to attend.  If your team would like to attend more than one expo please submit a separate application for the other location. Space will be given as a priority to teams who have not attended any expos, but if space remains teams are welcome to attend at multiple locations.

The 7 Expos will be:
Antelope: OMSI Auditorium, March 18, from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Beaver: OMSI Auditorium, March 18, from 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Cougar: OMSI Auditorium, March 19, from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Duck: OMSI Auditorium, March 19, from 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Eagle: Evergreen Aviation Museum, May 6, from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Falcon: Evergreen Aviation Museum, May 6 from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
To Be Named: Columbia Gorge (either Hood River or The Dalles), May, midday - more details will be coming in the next month

The expo names are for fun and to differentiate each event, the teams attending may select any animal of their choosing to present at the expo.

4) FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition happenings and volunteers needed

As your child ages out of FIRST LEGO League Jr. there is a progression of FIRST programs waiting to continue to stimulate their curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and math. For 4th to 8th-grade students there is FIRST LEGO League, a fall-winter based competitive program.  The FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments were postponed this year due to harsh winter weather. The tournaments were recently rescheduled for March 4 & 5 at Glencoe High School in Hillsboro.

FIRST LEGO League Jr teams can sign up for a tour of FIRST LEGO League at the tournament here. The tour will begin after matches end on Saturday, so it is recommended to come early to see the robots in action.  Even if your team can not come for the tour, the robot competition is open to the public from 9 am to 2 pm both days. Parents and coaches are strongly encouraged to volunteer at the event, please follow the directions below to sign-up.

After FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition bring the challenge through high school. February brings the concluding tournaments for the FIRST Tech Challenge in Oregon. Next weekend there are 4 FIRST Tech Challenge events on Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 12th at both Poynter Middle School and South Meadows Middle School in Hillsboro. Visitors can watch the robots competing in the exciting Velocity Vortex game from Noon to at least 4 pm each day. The excitement will continue at the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament on February 25-26, 2017 at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland. Robots will be on the fields starting at 9 am on the 26th and through 4 pm on 4 fields. Many adult volunteers are also needed each day!

Oregon FIRST Robotics Competition teams will start their competitions in March at Wilsonville High School March 10-11. This year the 120-pound robots will be competing in the Steamworks game. Additional competitions will be at CAIS Jackson Campus in Oregon City on March 24-25 and Lake Oswego High School March 31-April 1.

To volunteer at a local FIRST event:

  • Login to the FIRST Volunteer System 
  • After you have completed your profile (if needed), select Apply to an Event
  • Select the program you want to volunteer at (FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, or FIRST Robotics Competition)
  • Select Oregon OR your zip code
  • Find the event you want to volunteer at on the list
  • Choose a role (up to 5), make sure you use the arrow to move your chosen role to the list on the right.
  • Select the day(s) you are available
  • Submit
  • Complete the free background check with Verified Volunteers (needed once every three years)
If you have any question regarding volunteering please feel free to call ORTOP or contact Loridee-Wetzel@ortop.org

Best Wishes,
Loridee