ORTOP FIRST LEGO League Team Financial Support (OPEN NOW)
ORTOP has a great group of sponsors and grant funders who seek to help teams overcome the financial hurdles with getting started and keeping each team running. To make applying for this variety of funds we have a one-stop application for all teams. Your application will be what is used by ORTOP to find the best-fit sponsor, if one is available, for your team.
To qualify for team financial support:
- Your team must hold meetings in Oregon or Skamania or Klickitat Counties in SW Washington
- Both team coaches must have attended an ORTOP Workshop or Superquest FIRST LEGO League Workshop in the last 3 years if one is available within 100 miles of your meeting location.
- Your team will have at least 6 team members and NEVER more than 10 team members, including alternates.
- Your team will meet at LEAST once a week for 90 minutes. This is the bare minimum twice a week or more is preferred.
- Your team will register for and attend an official FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournament to be held in December, while there your team will participate in all three table rounds AND all team members will participate in all three judging sessions.
- If your team is awarded a LEGO MINDSTORMS or SPIKE PRIME robot kit, this kit is to be used exclusively for the FIRST LEGO League team it is awarded to during the competition season AND your team agrees to register and participate in an official FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournament, and all it’s events, for a minimum of 3 contiguous years. – the robot may be used in the offseason (roughly February-August) for other purposes as long as the system is not damaged. After 3 years the robot kit will be the property of the school, organization, or lead coach. If the team does not register for FIRST LEGO League in any of the first 3 years the kit MUST be returned to ORTOP in its entirety.
What MAY be awarded?
- ORTOP may pay the national registration fee for your FIRST LEGO League team – ONLY if your team has not already paid their national registration to FIRST. ORTOP has no means to reimburse you for funds already paid for National Registration.
- NOTE – This year your team will receive a challenge kit as part of each paid National Registration. FIRST believes the experience of building the kit is an important learning experience for every team.
- ORTOP may cover all or part of your Qualifying Tournament Application Fee.
- ORTOP may purchase a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 or SPIKE PRIME robot kit that will be for your team to use exclusively for the FIRST LEGO League Season (see above for possible off-season use)
- ORTOP may cover part or all of you Championship Tournament Application Fee, should your team earn an Advancement to Championship Event.
Typical Team Support Awards directly order materials and cover fees for the team and don’t include a provided check. There may be exceptions if additional funds are provided by your sponsor, your team will be given instruction on the items that the funds can be used for and how to report your spending.
What You Need to Apply
If you are new to FIRST LEGO League, please review the Oregon FIRST LEGO League Timeline. This is for new and returning teams! If you are new to FIRST LEGO League Oregon I also recommend looking through last year’s blog/emails for timing, monthly goals and what a team needs. Another wonderful resource is the FIRST Steps, from FIRST. You need to be ready to share your plan for implementing this program for your team on the application.
Know your team budget and anticipated expenses. You can use the ORTOP Sample Budget as a starting place for understanding what your team needs. Teams that have already started fundraising and have fundraising plans independently of the ORTOP Team Financial Support Award are MORE LIKELY to be awarded. Showing that your team is already putting forth the effort to fundraise indicates readiness to participate and ORTOP Sponsors are happy to help these teams meet their goal.
Please read the SAMPLE APPLICATION – Paper copies of this application will not be accepted as an application for support, you must fill out the survey monkey version lower in the page to apply. You will have one sitting on SurveyMonkey to complete the application for your team. Please use the SAMPLE APPLICATION so that you know what questions are being asked. Please know that the application does use skip-logic for the new and returning teams, make sure you know which section you are answering questions for.
Building STEM literacy and confidence is required to be successful in nearly every endeavor in today’s technology-rich society. Successful companies strive for a diverse workforce to create an innovative and productive workforce, and the ability to collaborate with individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives is a critical workforce skill. An inclusive FIRST team ensures all people are, and feel, free to bring their full selves, offer their true and unguarded perspectives, and find a welcoming and inviting place for those ideas every day.
ORTOP is committed to bringing FIRST to students who would benefit most, and is actively engaged in developing strategies that reduce inequities and ensure greater access to the programs for underserved, underrepresented, and vulnerable youth. For more information, definitions and suggested strategies, go to https://www.firstinspires.org/about/diversityinclusion.
All mentors are encouraged to take the FIRST Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training. These are excellent self-paced modules covering sensitive topics to help improve your skills in the FIRST team setting. Click here to access the training.
- Helpful pdfs for creating a DEI strategy
|May -September||Pre-Season||Both Coaches (and supporting parents) attend an ORTOP workshop. New team members are identified.|
|August 1-Sept 20||Challenge is Released||Team MEMBERS build the challenge model and explore the Project Challenge, the team identifies several possible problems to solve.|
|October||Register for Qualifying Tournament||Registration for the Qualifying Tournament opens the first week of October and is only open for 1 week, your team will NEED their team name!|
|October-November||Solve the Challenge||Teams design, build, and program a LEGO robot to solve at least 3 missions on the Challenge table in 2.5 minutes. The team creates an Innovative Solution, receives industry feedback, and shares that solution with those who can benefit from it/use it. Team uses Core Values at all meetings|
|December||Qualifying Tournament||All team members (who are not sick) participate in all aspects of the Qualifying Tournament, including 3 robot game sessions and 3 judging panels.|
|January||Championship Tournament||If your team advances, they participate fully in this exciting event. Otherwise, watch part of the Livestream of the championship and talk about the robot designs and strategies your team sees.|
|February – May||Keep Learning!||Learn new mechanical, programming skills for LEGO robotics. Consider continuing to work on your Innovative Solution. What would the patent process look like for this idea?|
Each team MUST submit their own application, even if they are sharing a Lead Coach. One coach may coach multiple teams if they have adequate ADULT (out of high school) supervision. Each team MUST have 2 dedicated adults who will be checking their provided email in July-September. The applicant MUST be responsible for the team forming, returning, practicing, and meeting. Only someone who can guarantee the award is used as intended can sign the award letter. If you are a team administrator overseeing 5 or more teams, please contact Loridee-Wetzel@ortop.org before completing the application.
The Lead Coach is defined as: The person who works with the team, whose primary tasks are administrative. This individual guarantees a safe meeting space for the team(s). They also read all emails from ORTOP and are responsible for registering their team(s) for Qualifying Tournaments and paying any required fees. This person is the first point of contact between ORTOP and their team(s).
Please make sure you UNDERSTAND everything above, I know it’s a lot, but it is very important.
Complete a SEPARATE APPLICATION for EACH Team you would like to be considered for a Team Financial Support Award.
Essay Answers should be as complete as possible, but try not to exceed 200 words per question. Our volunteers need to understand your team, your preparation, and your understanding of FIRST LEGO League to determine if you qualify for team financial support.
BECAUSE WE ARE USING SURVEY MONKEY YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CONFIRMATION OF A COMPLETED APPLICATION. YOU SHOULD BE BROUGHT BACK TO THIS PAGE AFTER YOU SUBMIT.
Awards will be reviewed as soon as there are 20 applications submitted or the first of August, whichever comes first. The review process takes 2-3 weeks. All applications are independently reviewed by two volunteers. If your application receives an award you will be contacted by ORTOP (make sure @ortop.org emails are on your whitelist!). You will have up to 2 weeks to accept or decline the award (this will be shorter in September due to the reality that national registration will close!). Declined awards will go back into the pool for other teams. Applications will be accepted until September 23rd, unless all available funds have been distributed.