MAGE Frist Robotics League Team (Ages 9-14) 

Pardon the construction dust! Please be aware that a designated caregiver has to stay on site until we receive the city permit for drop offs. Once we receive city approval, we will notify you that you can now drop off your child. You will have to sign that off during registration.

Ages: 9-14

Instructor: Jonathan Damen


Students will participate in WRO (A or B) WeDo and possibly other competitions like Robonation and Vex IQ for 2019-2020 season. But the club will do much more than just that. Students will learn how to construct and program robots that complete different types of challenges on land, in water and even in the air.  The purpose of this club is to allow the children to compete in small teams using a variety of robotics and programming technologies.  As this age group graduates to First Tech Challenge, there will be opportunities to observe other robotics events and competitions as an example of the planned outings.

Price: The span of this program covers the entire competitive season, and we will charge for the program in 2 installments - 2 mandatory 8 to 10-week sessions depending on the day of the week: Wednesday is $600 and Saturday is $580 as they have fewer meetings. If the team desires, we will be able to add an optional, shorter, non-competitive spring term for practice. Drop-ins are not possible in this program because the knowledge is built upon each time. The price includes coach fees for the classes and the event in bold, all the required equipment (each 2-3 kids needs an equipment set for >300.00 per competition flavor, plus other equipment like playing fields, required software, curriculum, for the team, registration and competition fees, and a team tee shirt, as well as an end of the season pizza party.

Dates: You can select from two sessions, either Fridays, from 5:30PM to 6:20PM or Saturdays, from 10:00AM to 10:50AM

Wednesday Session (meets more because there are no competitions on Wednesday)

0-Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM-Free Open House

1-Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

2-Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

3-Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

4. Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

5-Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

6-Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

7-Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

No Class - Wednesday, November 27, 2019

8-Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

9-Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

10-Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 6:30PM-7:20PM

Please note, there is no class on: November 27 for Thanksgiving Week.

Saturday Session:

0-October 5, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM-Free Open House

1-October 12, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

2-October 19, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

3-October 26, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

4-November 2, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

5-November 9, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

6-November 16, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

7-November 23, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

NO CLASS November 29th

NO CLASS December 7, 2019 - competition observation

8- Tentatively December 14, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM

9-December 21, 2019, 11:00AM-11:50AM - team term end celebration/parent drop-in during the last 20 minutes.

Please note, there is no class on: November 29 for Thanksgiving Week. Also, there is no team meeting on days of competition observations such as December 7 and possibly December 14 .

Price Does Not Include:

  • We accept checks and prefer that form of payment. There is a $25 bounced check fee.

  • If you choose to pay with a credit card, we will have to charge you a $5-$10 credit card processing fee.

Required Supplies provided by parents:

  • A laptop computer

  • A personal water bottle is recommended. All else will be provided.

Tentative group events for this club outside of club meets if families are interested (bold is required). There will be a survey during the first week.

Group Events for this club that we are considering:

  • Vex Tournament, February, participation

  • WRO Elementary, tbd, participation

  • Robonation Seaperch competition, tbd, participation.

  • Robot City Workshop, tbd, outing

  • First Robotics League Competition, March, observation

  • First Tech Challenge, February, observation

  • COD Robotics Club Team meet, TBD, observation 

  • UIC Robotics Club Team meet, TBD, observation

  • RoboFest April, outing

  • Robot Block Party April, outing

What’s not included/what is involved:

  • STEAM competitive teams are very heavy on parental involvement. It could be as engaging as a similar commitment to a traveling sports team as the child goes through various school grades. But, not yet at this level, so that you can see if your child likes it before making a huge time investment!

  • Parents have to provide the transportation to and from the events for their children.

  • Parents will be asked to be on a team board, and to pick roles, similar to roles on a parent teacher association. This is important for club social outings and if the team is competitively successful.

  • Parents may be invited to volunteer from time to time to support small groups as we get closer to competition.

  • There are two sets of optional events for this club. One set is to educate the team about the progression of the competition so that they know what to expect when they graduate out of this program. Coach fees for optional observations may need to be shared between members that wish to attend, or a “class parent” will need to help coordinate these. There are no associated admission costs for these. If we have that level team competing in the event, then the coach fee is covered.

  • The second set is for a social and educational purpose, such as Legoland, and the associated costs are the “class parent” coordination, admission fees, as well as any admissions costs to any items that are not in bold, that are all optional.

  • If our teams progress to state, there may need to be a team fundraising effort to pay for the associated costs.  


Can you open up Frist Robotics and Tech challenge for Grades 6+ We are open to starting those leagues, please drop us a note with interest and we will start when we reach 2-3 participants which is what is required for most robotics competitions. We have room in our schedule. Please send us a note to be notified when others do the same. Parents, be prepared to help with the grants to fund the expense of the program or to help pay. The cost for the middle and high-school programs is in the thousands per team. This team would participate in First Lego Tech Challenge, Vex, WRO, Robnation(Seaperch and SeaGlide), and much more. Please be aware that the older the student gets, the more expensive the materials required are for the competitions, so we will have to try to get grants or will need to cover the costs with tuition. It costs about $5K to run a team at middle school level for equipment and registrations alone. As a start-up, we do not yet have the funds to sponsor this sort of investment alone.

Student qualifications: Students need not be identified as gifted for this program.  Students should show readiness to both engage in team-work, and in doing independent projects. Students need to have age-appropriate social-emotional skills, reading. The small-motor skills need to be adequate for handling big-kid, tiny-sized lego. 

Location and School: Students may go to any private school, public school, homeschool, and live anywhere, as long as they are not also participating on another club in the same category as ours. For out of state: we can entertain having you participate, however, you will be participating in IL competitions. We are open to starting an all-remote team, interacting through video conferencing and participating in some of the live outings. 

How many kids are on a team? We can build teams in groups of 6 for the Lego competitions, and the teams shrink for robotics to 2-3 per team – we can support multiple teams. The later you sign up, the higher the chance that there will be fewer people on your team, increasing your cost. 

Attendance: if you miss more than 2 weeks a session due to no extenuating circumstances, your spot on the team may be given to someone on the wait list. You will lose your tuition. This is because everyone on the team is supposed to contribute, not just show up the day of competition. Attendance is not required at the events not in bold. Only the key events for your team in bold are required. The rest are for team-building, learning, and fun! 

Transportation: parents are responsible for transporting children to all the events. Each event will have different rules for parent involvement. Parents will be able to participate in a ride-sharing directory for the program.