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


Monday, January 23, 2017

Expo Registrations Open in Oregon

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this post you will find:

  1. Lottery to Participate at World Festival
  2. Oregon Expo Information
  3. What You Need to Register for an Oregon Expo
  4. How to Pay for an Oregon Expo
1) Lottery to Participate at World Festival
If your team would like to represent Oregon at the World Festival please complete this online form. The World Festival takes place on April 20-22 in Houston, Texas. Your team is responsible for their own travel and registration costs if selected. FIRST LEGO League Jr is a non-competitive program. Teams who would like to participate at the World Festival are therefore randomly selected.

2) Oregon Expo Information
This year Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) is planning 7 FIRST LEGO League Jr Expos. Six of these expos now have dates and can be registered for. 
At OMSI we will have:
Saturday, March 18 - Antelope Expo from 9am-1pm & Beaver Expo from 1:30-5:30pm
Sunday, March 19 -  Cougar Expo from 9am-1pm & Duck Expo from 1:30-5:30pm
At Evergreen Aviation Museum we will have:
Saturday, May 6 - Eagle Expo from 9:30am-12:30pm & Falcon Expo from 1-5pm
An expo in the Columbia Gorge will be scheduled for later in May.

Your team's animals of interest DO NOT need to correspond to the expo names. The expo names are simply more fun than calling our expos A, B, C, D, E, & F. Each expo may have 12 - 25 teams and are assigned on a first registered basis ensuring that all events have enough teams to be held. Teams may attend more than one expo if there is space, priority will be given to teams that have not attended any expos. More information about Oregon Expos can be found on this page.

3) What You Need to Register for an Oregon Expo
Before you can start your registration for an Oregon FIRST LEGO League Jr Expo, your team must have the following:
  • 2 adult coaches who have completed their background check
  • 1 National registration with FIRST
  • A 4-digit FIRST LEGO League Jr team number
If you have a bee model and engineering notebooks, then you have all of the above! 
You will also need to know:
  • Your team's chosen team name - this will be used on all expo papers for the day.
  • How many kids are on the team - NO MORE THAN 6
  • How many are boys and how many are girls, and their grade level in school (or by age).
  • Your tournament preference (you can choose three and will be put into the one with the best space).
  • If you have other teams coming from your site you need to be at the same event as - mostly for schools and clubs.
  • Whether your team will be using a laptop that needs power
  • If your team needs special accommodations, like wheelchair access.
  • A plan on how to pay for the expo application fee of $80 (with an optional up to $40 for teams who need it)
When you have all of this, you may go to the survey monkey application page and complete an expo application for your team.

Please only submit ONE application PER TEAM unless you intend to attend more than one expo - If this is your plan please make sure you put it in the additional comments.

4) How to Pay for an Oregon Expo
There are three options for paying for your FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon Expo Application. 
The $80 Expo Application payment completes your Expo registration process and allows your team to be placed into an Oregon Expo. All payments must be received 2 weeks before the start of the expo you are requesting. When you make your payment there is an automatic method for requesting the discount of up to $40. At this time these requests are automatically approved, this may change next season.

Best Wishes,
Loridee

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FIRST Fun to End the Year and Welcome 2017!

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon!

In this post you will find:
  1. Request tickets to join FIRST Oregon teams at the Winterhawks (December 28th game)
  2. Signup to Attend Juniors Day at the Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship (January 14)
  3. Expo Registration will open in January
1) Request tickets to join FIRST Oregon teams at the Winterhawks (December 28th game)
Join Oregon FIRST teams as the Winterhawks take on TriCity! Winterhawks have donated several ticket vouchers for our teams to enjoy. Please use the form below to request a voucher (which you will need to take to the ticket office to turn into tickets). Where your team shirts, if you have one, so teams can find each other!
Request your ticket vouchers here

We also are happy to be able to include our volunteers in this activity! If you volunteer with ORTOP, please join us at the game.

2) Signup to Attend Juniors Day at the Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship (January 14)
If your team is starting to look towards FIRST LEGO League (the 4th-8th grade competitive LEGO robotics program) please sign up to attend the Juniors Day at the Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship.  FIRST LEGO League Jr teams should who sign up will receive a tour at Liberty High School in Hillsboro on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 2:30pm.

Sign up with this online form

Teams will get to ask questions about FIRST LEGO League and meet competing teams in the secure pit area after competitions have concluded for the day. Teams should come early to see the robot game competitions in the gymnasium arena.
The Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments are free and open to the public from 9am-5pm on Saturday, January 14 & Sunday, January 15, 2017.

3) Expo Registration will open in January
Registration for the March 18 & 19 FIRST LEGO League Expos as OMSI and the May 6 Expo at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum will open in the second half of January.  To register for an expo your team MUST have a national registration (4 digit team number) through FIRST.

To register your team for the CREATURE CRAZE season, please register your team online at www.firstinspires.org

If you need any assistance navigating the FIRST registration system I am happy to help!

Best Wishes & Happy New Year,
Loridee

Monday, October 17, 2016

Information Sessions NEW Dates!

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

In this post you will find:

  1. OMSI Information Session TOMORROW!
  2. OMSI WeDo Information Night - Rescheduled for October 25
  3. Site License Grant Opportunity

1)  OMSI Information Session TOMORROW!
Interested in learning more about FIRST LEGO League Jr? We hope you will join us for a FIRST LEGO League Jr Information session from 6-8pm at OMSI. This is the class that was postponed last week. The session will cover the FIRST LEGO League Jr season, the Creature Craze theme, the new FIRST LEGO League Jr materials, working with schools, and more!  This is an adults information session. Kids will not have much to do while the class is happening.

2)  OMSI WeDo Information Night - Rescheduled for October 25
Is your team curious about the WeDo 2.0 system? Come learn about this LEGO program and how it can add new elements to your FIRST LEGO League Jr experience. Schools and FIRST LEGO League Jr coaches are encouraged to attend. This event will run from 6-8pm at OMSI and will provide an opportunity for adults to get their hands on a WeDo 2.0 system to see what it would be like to use with their team.

3)  Site License Grant Opportunity
FIRST LEGO League Jr and LEGO Foundation are offering site license grants to organizations who would like to run site licenses for the next 3 years. The grant includes the site license for up to 144 students (max of 72 at a time) for the Creature Craze season, funding for WeDo2.0 and tablets. Your organization agrees to run the program for the 144 students and pay the site license in years 2 and 3. To apply please go to: http://info.firstinspires.org/educationgrant


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Information Night Postponed until October 18

Due to instructor illness, we are postponing tonight's FIRST LEGO League Jr Information Night for one week. The FIRST LEGO League Junior Information Night will now be held on October 18th from 6-8pm at OMSI in Classroom 1. The WeDo information class is being rescheduled with OMSI. 

Please help us spread the word so those who are planning to attend, but did not get the opportunity to sign up are aware of this change.

Thank  you,
Loridee

Thursday, September 22, 2016

FIRST LEGO League Jr Migrates the Newsletter to a Blog!

Greetings FIRST LEGO League Jr Oregon,

From now on, all updates will now come as both an email and as a blog post. Because of the nature of the FIRST LEGO League Jr program, all of our teams are at all different stages of the program throughout the year. Hopefully, this new format will make it easier to find advice for your team at the time you need it.

In this update you will find:

  1. OMSI Information Night
  2. WeDo 2.0 Training Night
  3. LEGO Education Information Day for Teachers
  4. Registration Details for Creature Craze
  5. Creature Craze Oregon Expos!
1) OMSI Information Night
I am happy to announce that I will be hosting a FIRST LEGO League Jr Information Night at OMSI on October 11th at 6:00pm. We will be meeting in Classroom 1. Please sign up using the form if you are able to attend. I want to make sure I have enough for everyone.



2) WeDo 2.0 Training Night
On Tuesday, October 18, I will be back at OMSI to specifically address questions about the new LEGO WeDo 2.0 system. I hope to help you understand the system and see what it would look like to use this OPTIONAL system with your FIRST LEGO League Jr team.


3) LEGO Education Information Day for Teachers
LEGO Education will be in Oregon with a free workshop for teachers specifically talking about using WeDo 2.0 and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. It will all be in Albany at Linn-Benton Community College on October 14th. If you are a teacher, I hope you can join us!  Please register here

4) Registration Details for Creature Craze
If you are not one of the 17 teams already registered to participate in FIRST LEGO Leauge Jr this year, you will notice several changes this season! The forms used to register your team are different. If you are with a school or afterschool group, you may want to consider the site license option that opens in October. Also, what you receive will be different this year as well, so it is critical that you include an accurate shipping address, not a P.O. Box!

To register your team, this year you log in at www.firstinspires.org. Your login information has transferred if you had a FIRST account last year, but you don't need to go any further than the login button on the top right of the screen to get started. After you have updated your profile, you will see last year's team on your Dashboard. You will also see any other FIRST teams you are affiliated with. If you don't have any teams, you want to Start A Team!

Each team must have 2 Adults listed as Coach/Mentor 1 and Coach/Mentor 2. A Team Admin is optional. Both coaches must complete their YPP and Consent form. This can be found under the Outstanding Tasks on each person's Dashboard. After that is complete you may register the team by paying the $75 National Registration. When you do, a box with the Inspire Model, a kit of Elise the bee and her hive, 6 Engineering Notebooks, and a Coach's Guide will be shipped to you - it will not come via USPS, this is why you need a valid shipping address.

Your coach's guide will sync with the engineering notebooks to guide the entire team through 12 sessions of Creature Craze!  Your registration will NOT include any LEGO other than the Inspire Model. If your team wants LEGO or a WeDo system, you will need to use the Purchase Product button on the Dashboard, after your national registration has been paid.

I'll have the details on how to register a site license in October!

4) Creature Craze Oregon Expos!
There was not significant interest in having a November expo this year. We need at least 18 teams to do this. However, we will be having some very exciting spring expos!

  • March 18 & 19 at OMSI Auditorium  - we will hold 4 separate expos on those two days
  • May 6 at Evergreen Space Museum
  • May in The Dalles or Hood River
One other warning! If you are registering your FIRST LEGO League Jr Team, please be aware the FIRST website may be down on September 29th for FIRST Robotics Competition registration that day.

Best Wishes,
Loridee