John Deer FIRST 2017/18 Team grant information is now live!

John Deere FIRST Team grant applications opened June 7 for the new 2017-2018 season for U.S. teams. The application can be found here:

  • The deadlines for applying are:
    • FIRST® LEGO League Junior (FLL Jr.) Deadline: March 2, 2018
    • FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Deadline: September 8, 2017
    • FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) Deadline: September 29, 2017
    • FIRST® Robotic Competition (FRC) Deadline: November 10, 2017

We would like to thank John Deer for it’s continued support of Iowa FIRST programs!

FLL 2017 Global Innovation Award Semi-Finalists

The 2017 FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award promotional video can be found on the FIRST  YouTube Channel.  Check out the two teams from Iowa by reading their Team bios. Out of twenty global semi-finalists, two are from Iowa!  Join the social media conversation about the event, share the promo video and share our excitement and congratulations for these teams!

Rockwell Collins FIRST LEGO League Team Grants for 2017/18 Season

Rockwell Collins Iowa FLL grants are now live!  Information about the grants and the application can be found here.

Aren’t on a FLL team and want to learn more? Click here for more information. Team Registration for the 2017 season is now open, and the Rockwell Collins grant gives preference to first year teams, so sign up soon!

ISU AMS Science Fair 2017

Iowa State’s Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society will be hosting its third annual Science Fair on Saturday, April 22nd and we are reaching out to you to help us spread the word. Brief information related to this event is listed below and a flyer is attached for more detailed information. The fair is free to enter and there will be prizes for the top projects! Projects do not have to be weather-related, they can be on any topic. If you know of anyone that would be interested in participating in this event, please forward the information to them.

WHO: 1st-5th Grade Students

WHERE: Iowa State University, Memorial Union Pioneer Room

WHEN: Saturday, April 22nd

1st/2nd grade projects: 1-2pm

3rd grade projects: 2-3pm

4th grade projects 3-4pm

5th grade projects 4-5pm


Check out the official flyer for more information.

FIRST Educator Summit

FIRST will be hosting an Educator Summit at each of the FIRST World Festival events this year. The intent of the Educator Summit event is to draw in Superintendents, Principals, STEM Educators and decisions makers whom may not have any exposure or have limited exposure to FIRST.  The hope is they leave this event excited and interested to bring FIRST to their school district and community.  For more information, please follow these links:

FIRST Team Funding Opportunity

Help grow teams in the United States!

Through a generous donation from NewsCorp in partnership with, funding is available to help start or support a FIRST® team. Funding is available to any educator in a public or public charter school located in the United States, employed full time by the school or school district and works directly with students at least 75 percent of the time. Funding can be used for registration fees, materials, reasonable and customary FIRST team travel costs.

Tell the educators in your area to visit to get started or contact Kristi Scarpone at for details.


FIRST made a really interesting video about females in STEM. They interviewed quite a few FLL team members and in the video there are even a few members from Iowa FLL team Flourish and Bots!

Check out the video here!

Iowa FLL Jr. Creature Craze Team Grants

FIRST LEGO League Junior (FLL Jr.) is a great way for children ages 6-10 to get involved in STEM, make friends, develop teamwork skills, and have fun! The 2016-17 Season is still underway and ISU College of Engineering is partnering with John Deere to provide grants to new and returning teams that qualify.

The flyer with all of the information and requirements about the grant can be found here.

If you want to know more about FLL Jr. you can find it here.

Note: one of the requirements for receiving the grant is attending a FLL Jr. event (which are called Expos); a listing of all of the FLL Jr. Expo events can be found here.

FLL Jr. Expos

Although the FLL Animal Allies season is done, the Creature Craze FLL Jr. season is still underway!

We currently have several more FLL Jr. Expos scheduled which are listed below:

 Cedar Falls

Date: Monday, May 1st, 2017
Location: E.L.P. Extravaganza – Peet Junior High – 525 E. Seerley Blvd., Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Time: 6:30- 8:00 P.M.


Date: Saturday, June 3rd, 2017
Location: East Union School Gym – 1916 High School Dr., Afton, IA 50830
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 A.M.

A complete listing of events can be found here. We may add more events in the future, so please stay tuned!

If you haven’t started an FLL Jr. team, there is still time! Click here for more information.

PLTW Updates

Student Rostering Update: Student State ID Required

To make it easier for schools that need to report student engagement and End-of-Course (EoC) assessment performance measures to State Departments of Education, PLTW has reinstated the Student State ID as a required field for rostering.

If your school has already rostered and needs to submit a report containing this information, you can upload an updated student roster and the related student records will be updated to include Student State IDs in myPLTW. Rosters can be updated anytime through June 30, 2017.

If your school has already rostered and does not need to submit this information, no further action is required.

Rostering continues to be available in myPLTW, where you can also find a step-by-step guide.

Register Today! PLTW Launch Lead Teacher Training Session for Fall

We are offering a PLTW Launch Lead Teacher Training session at PLTW’s Indianapolis office Nov. 1-3.

This PLTW Launch professional development opportunity is in-depth, collaborative, and designed to empower educators to develop the confidence, understanding, and knowledge necessary to lead Building-Level Training for prospective PLTW Launch Classroom Teachers at their site.

During the 24 instructional hours (covered over three days) of training, participants experience the roles of the PLTW Launch student, PLTW Launch Classroom Teacher, and PLTW Launch Lead Teacher as they engage in PLTW Launch activities, projects, and problems and delve into pedagogical strategies.

If your site has any prospective Launch Lead Teacher interested in participating in this fall session, we encourage them to register today, as there are a limited seats available.

Update: Grade-Level Specific Core Training

In response to feedback from the network of PLTW Launch teachers, we are pleased to announce an updated process for completing Grade-Level Specific Core Training.

Note: All current grade-level credentials will remain in place. It is not necessary for teachers to go through this new process unless they are adding a grade-level credential.  

The two-part process will provide access to grade-level modules and Ongoing Training courses.

  1. Watch the Getting Started with Launch video. Once complete, the six Grade-Level Specific Core Training videos will unlock.
  2. Select and view the appropriate grade-level video(s). The grade-level videos are built as quizzes in the myPLTW Learning Management System (LMS). To receive completion grades for applicable grade levels:
    • Open the appropriate grade-level quiz.
    • Watch the video until the end.
    • Enter the video completion code in the field below the video.
    • Submit the quiz.

This completion code signals to PLTW that you are ready to receive the curriculum modules and the Ongoing Training course. You will receive these materials within 48 hours of submitting the quiz.

These updated training resources can be found by selecting Grade-Level Specific Core Training Links from the Building-Level Readiness Training course. Teachers may complete as many of the grade-level requirements as are appropriate for their teaching requirements.