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Robotics Program

Ready for a new challenge? Daisies through Ambassadors can form all-Girl Scout robotics teams where girls work together to build, test, and program robots—then compete against other teams in western Washington and beyond!

Adult coaches and mentors guide teams through challenges as they identify underlying problems, use research to develop innovative solutions, practice critical thinking and creativity. It’s a techie way to make the world a better place!

Have a team ready  to go? The following Leagues are now open! Claim your spot. 

Spring Robotics League:
Sign Ups open now!
Fall 2019 FIRST program (all levels): Sign Ups open in January 2019.

   

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Start a FIRST Team

Through grant funding from Google, Motorola, and KeyBank, Girl Scouts of Western Washington provides a subsidized way for Girl Scouts to engage and learn robotics with hands-on STEM experience via the worldwide FIRST Robotics program. Girl Scouts program robots, plan projects, and represent themselves at co-ed competitions and show the world exactly what girls can do!

Girl Scouts of Western Washington provides logistical and administrative support for teams participating in FIRST. We cover registration fees and purchase the season materials. Teams register for Fall programming beginning in the Spring/Summer, then pick up their borrowed kits and materials in early Fall to work through the program on their own schedule at their own location to prep for competition(s) beginning in early December. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do coaches need robotics/tech skills? All coaches need is to model a can-do attitude to encourage girls and role model girl-led and girl-empowered mentality about tackling tech challenges.

Can men be coaches? Anyone of any gender identity can be a coach. If both coaches are men, a third background checked adult female volunteer must be present at every team meeting.

Can married/partnered/related people be co-coaches? Yes, if a related pair are serving as co-coaches, a 3rd background-checked adult must be present at every team meeting.

How are teams coordinated? Team coordination is mostly self-directed and done at the individual and group level. STEM Program staff cannot guarantee participation but will work to connect Girl Scouts looking to join with teams in their area that have open spots so that the maximum number of girls can have access to this amazing opportunity.

Can I coach more than one team? Yes, teams can share coaches, meet at the same time, and share insights. However, each team will need their own materials, robot, and will complete their own unique challenge projects. Depending on demand and to have equitable opportunities across all our regions, we may limit the number of teams per coach we can support financially. Check with the STEM Program Manager before planning multiple teams.

Can Girl Scouts of Western Washington find my team a coach? We’ll work to connect forming teams with other partially formed teams in the same area. We can also connect single coaches with other single coaches where possible. Unfortunately, we do not have a pool of coaches to place with teams. The best bet is to recruit another adult you work well with.

Can non-Girl Scouts be on the team? Girl Scouts of Western Washington sponsored teams are comprised entirely of Girl Scouts. Team members do not need to be from the same troop (or in a troop at all), but all must have current Girl Scout membership. Membership in Girl Scouts is $25 a year and financial assistance is available. Non-Girl Scouts can serve as team support, fans, or mentors, but they cannot be on the official team, appear on the team roster with FIRST, or participate in competitions. (We will take all the cheer leaders we can get!)

Can Girl Scouts of Western Washington place my Girl Scout(s) on a team? We will try and connect interested Girl Scouts with teams that have open spots in their area. However, teams rarely have open spots. We require a minimum number of members per team, but we do not require teams to accept members up to their capacity.

 

How Girl Scouts of Western Washington Supports FIRST Teams

  • FIRST registration and competition fees
  • Use of a laptop with software
  • Use of robotics kit
  • Challenge Kit (yearly challenge parts and field mat)
  • Custom team t-shirts
  • Reimbursement for materials, snacks, some travel expenses (max amount varies per level—additional team fundraising may be required if advancing to competitions)
  • Coach support & handbook
  • Network of Girl Scout Teams, experienced teams and coaches as well as access to FIRST mentors and experienced teams.

Girl Scouts of Western Washington supports the following FIRST program levels. Age of participants must be during the fall season.


Girl Scouts of Western Washington supports the following FIRST program levels. Age of participants must be during the fall season.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. (ages 6-10)

Ages: 6-10 years old
Season: Sept-early Dec or Jan-April
Time commitment: 1.5-2 hours per week over an 8-12-week season.
Cost: $20-$60

Learn about tiered pricing.

Team Requirements:
Teams will need a space to meet and build their project on an 18-inch square base plate. Materials and the assembled project can be left in place at meeting site or transported between meetings. Internet access is helpful for research but not required.

FLL Jr. teams do not compete 'head to head,' as the older levels do. However, teams may opt into expos where they can talk about their project, show off their builds, and be judged against the rubric. Teams may also set up their own jury with adult volunteers on their team or invite other teams to a mini-expo of their own.

Team min/max # of members: 4-6
Coaches required: 2 (No tech expertise needed!)
Coach Logistical Needs: Meeting space and transportation to expo(s)

FIRST LEGO League (ages 9-14)

Ages: 9-14 years old
Season: September through early December (or extended season for advancing members in January-April).
Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week (additional time as needed).
Cost : $50-$100

Learn about tiered pricing.

Team Requirements:
Teams will need a meeting space with enough room for the team to sort materials, assemble the robot, work on the programming, and space for a 4x8 ft field table.* The field mat table and materials can be broken down and transported between meetings if needed. Internet access is very helpful for research, inspiration, and troubleshooting.  The field table top needs to be built to specific guidelines (provided) and teams are reimbursed up to $100 for materials.

Team min/max # of members: 6-10
Coaches required: 2 (No tech expertise needed!)
Coach logistical needs: The coach will need to handle the logistics of the team’s meeting space, facilitate the purchase of supplies, and coordinate transportation to competition(s).

FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 12-18)

Ages: Grades 7th-12th
Season: Late August through early December (or extended season for advancing members in January-April). *Teams can begin pre-season planning in Spring/Summer.
Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week (additional time as needed).
Cost: There is no direct program fee associated with FTC, however additional fundraising for team needs (supplies, travel, etc.) may be required.

Team Requirements:
Teams need a space with flat floor to meet to assemble an 18-inch square robot and room for a 12x12 foot playfield floor perimeter and floor tiles (which can be broken down between meetings.) Internet access is highly recommended.

Team min/max # members: 5-15
Coaches required: 2 (at this level some tech, robot, coding knowledge is helpful, teams can engage mentors for this support)
Coach logistical needs: Coaches coordinate logistical needs for the teams, arrange competition transportation, communicate with families, and help purchase/secure materials and supplies on behalf of the team. It is helpful if coaches have some robotics or coding experience, but teams can also recruit mentors to support this.


Not Ready for FIRST?

We also offer a Girl Scouts of Western Washington Spring Robotics League in April-June. This Girl Scout-themed program is a great introduction to robotics for Girl Scouts who will be 8-13 years old in spring, or 9-14 in the fall.

Teams can participate in Spring League as a stand-alone activity, or as a way to ease into FIRST Robotics the following fall.

Girl Scout Spring Robotics League

Girl Scout Spring Robotics League is our internal “non-FIRST” league. It is modeled as an introduction to robotics from FIRST Lego League programs. Through an 8-10 week course, teams pick up materials from our council to work at a location of their choice. The robot kits used are the LEGO EV-3 Mindstorms model. Girls can design and build a robot that will compete in Girl Scout themed challenges (on a 3x5 foot mat, based on a points system). An optional 'for fun' competition is offered in June.    

Ages: 8-14 years old*
(*If you plan to graduate to FIRST, FLL age restrictions are firmly set to 9-14 years old during the season.)   
Season: The program will run April to early June.
Time commitment: 1.5 to 3 hours per week (with additional time as needed).  
Cost: 
Spring League costs a flat rate of $20 per girl. Both financial assistance or Cookie Dough can be used.
Materials: Materials such as a computer, robot and challenge kit will be included. Coach handbook and resources are provided. 

Team RequirementsTeams will have a minimum of six girls and two adult volunteer coaches and girls will have the option to compete at Girl Scout run scrimmages.

Team min/max # of members: 6-10
Coaches required: 2 (No tech expertise needed!)

Sign ups for Spring League spots will open in January 2019. 

  

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Other Robotics Opportunities: 

Girl Scouts can also earn Robotics Badges, either in a troop or on their own! There are now Robotics Badge triads at every Girl Scout age level! Request a Robotics Mania Workshop for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors in your area. This 2.5-hour workshop uses LEGO NEXT robots and is available via our Science Workshop Series [LINK to page].

Often Girl Scout FIRST Teams, troops, or service units or Partner programs will put on various robotics-related events – so keep an eye out at your local level!

Can't get enough STEM? See what else our council has to offer in science, technology, engineering, and math.

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