Welcome to FIRST LEGO League Jr.!   In FIRST LEGO League Jr., teams are student driven and we teach students to work together on teams to research and solve problems.  The true success of the program comes from the process: teaching students to solve problems through Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition.  

This remainder of this section describes the ethos behind FIRST LEGO League Jr. and the governing participation rules for the program.

Participation Rules

Below are the official participation rules as described by FIRST, edited where appropriate to match our implementation in Central California. 


Season Life cycle for a team

Expo Rules

Following rules apply to any teams that participate in a FIRST LEGO League Jr. official expo event:

Expo Awards

FIRST LEGO League Jr.  is not a competitive program. It is a journey where inquisitive and curious children learn about something new and their journey of learning is celebrated In the expo event, The work done by all participating teams are reviewed and a suitable award is given to each team to recognize their effort and to inspire them to continue their journey to the next level which is FIRST Lego League.  Each team that participates in an official expo event and fulfills the expo rules requirements is eligible to receive an award.

More details about Central Valley Robotics' expo awards can be found in Expo Awards.


FIRST® gives authority to volunteers staffing FIRST LEGO League Jr. Official Expo events to interpret and implement the Participation Rules, guided by global FIRST LEGO League Jr. training materials:

More details about Central Valley Robotics' process can be found in Appendix 1 - Core Values Concerns and the Handling Process.

FIRST Values

Gracious Professionalism®

Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST Distinguished Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term "Gracious Professionalism ®."

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.


Coopertition® produces innovation. At FIRSTCoopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.

Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

FIRST Core Values

We express the FIRST® philosophies of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® through our Core Values:

Getting Started Season Checklist 

Pre-Season Preparation

Begin Meeting with Your Team

After Challenge Release (August 1)