FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The following is a list of the common questions we are asked about Springboro Robotics. If you have a question that is not answered below, send us a message via the contacts page.
How old do I need to be to participate in Springboro Robotics?
Springboro Robotics is open to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) is limited to High School students and select 8th graders who demonstrate a desire to work hard and contribute to the team.
FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge (FLL) is limited to students who are between the ages of 9 and 14.
FIRST® LEGO® League Explore (FLLJr) is limited to students in 1st through 4th grade who are or will be 6 7, 8, or 9 years old in the current calendar year.
My child doesn't attend Springboro schools. Can he/she participate in Springboro Robotics?
Springboro Community City Schools supports Springboro Robotics by providing meeting space and resources. For this reason, any child who lives in the Springboro Community City School district may participate in Springoboro Robotics. This includes children who are home schooled and those who attend private or parochial schools. Unfortunately, this means that residents of other school districts are ineligible to participate in Springboro Robotics. HOWEVER, Springboro Robotics is more than willing to help you start your own neighborhood, school, or club team. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
My child is 9 years old. Should he/she join FLL Explore (FLLJr) or FLL Challenge?
If this is your child's first time in a FIRST® program, it's recommended that he/she start out in the younger (FLLJr) program. A 9 year old FLLJr participant is more likely to be with kids closer to his/her own age while a 9 year old FLL participant could be placed on a team with students as old as 14. Additionally, 9 year old FLL students will be competing against 14 year old high school students at tournaments.
How often will my team meet?
This is up to the coach and depends upon the age of the students. FLL Explore teams might only meet once a week for 60 minutes, while the older, competitive (FLL Challenge) teams can meet 3-4x times a week for 2 hours or more. In general, the average FLL Challenge & FTC team meets 2-3 times a week for 1½ - 2 hours per meeting. Meeting frequency and length often increases as competition dates approach. In FIRST, as in life, you get out of it what you put into it.
How long does the season last?
The season officially kicks off on August 1st and concludes with tournaments and expositions in November through February. The very top performing teams are invited to participate in national and international tournaments in March, April, and May. Coaches may also choose to meet/work in the “off season” (prior to August and after their last competition/exposition).
Can I be on a team with my friends?
ABSOLUTELY! This is encouraged. The best way to be teamed with your friends is to write their name(s) in the appropriate space on your application.
Can I participate in Springboro Robotics if I am in the marching band or play on the high school football team?
Participation in activities other than Springboro Robotics is permitted, however the time commitment of the marching band and football team makes it very difficult to fully participate on an FTC (high school) Springboro Robotics team. Because of the smaller time commitment, younger (FLL Explore) students should have no problem participating in multiple after school activities.
My child loves LEGO® and/or participated in Destination Imagination (DI). Won’t he/she be a natural on a Springboro Robotics team?
Not necessarily. Many of the key elements of Destination Imagination (like teamwork and shared responsibilities) are also critical aspects of FIRST® and Springboro Robotics. Additionally, Springboro Robotics and FIRST® stress STEAM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). FLL Challenge & FLL Explore are much more than just "playing with LEGO". Participants spend an equal amount of time designing, building, programming, researching, writing, and working on their teamwork and entrepreneurial skills. The students who enjoy Springboro Robotics the most are those that enjoy science and technology and can work in a team environment. FLL Challenge applicants must understand that the research project is mandatory. The FLL Challenge research project does not involve LEGO pieces.
How much does it cost to join a team?
The fees for each program are different and are listed at the bottom of each application.
How do I sign up to be on a Springboro Robotics team?
Complete an application (including the essay questions - FTC and FLL Challenge only). Send the application to SPRINGBORO ROBOTICS, 50 Wilkerson Ct, Springboro, OH 45066 with a check for the appropriate participation fee made out to “Springboro Robotics”. Applications will be available on the Springboro Robotics website here beginning on April 1st. Be sure to send in your application BEFORE the deadline (May 22nd).
What if my child is not selected to be on a Springboro Robotics team?
Springboro Robotics has limited resources (coaches, robot kits, practice tables, computers, etc.). Consequently, student participation is limited and not guaranteed to all applicants. Priority will be given to the children of coaches & mentors and applications postmarked on or before the deadline (May 22, 2023). The program director and coaches have the final say in team selection. If your child is not selected to be on a team, the participation fee will be refunded in full. A $25 late fee is required for applications postmarked after 5/22/23. Students who leave the program before September 1st are entitled a 50% refund. No refunds will be issued on or after September 1st.
Where can I find out more about the FIRST® programs?
The following websites provide a wealth of information:
What if I have questions that are not answered in this F.A.Q. or on the websites?
Questions should be directed to the Springboro Robotics program director at email@example.com.