FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) is an international program, created by FIRST and LEGO, designed to get children interested in and excited about science, technology and engineering. Every year, FIRST releases a new challenge that engages the teams in hands-on robotics design and scientific research. The theme for the challenge is different each year, allowing teams to learn about a variety of subjects. Participants, ages 9-14, form teams of 2-10 members. Teams can form from any group: school, scouts, religious organizations, home school groups or even groups of friends. After the challenge has been released, teams have about three months to design, program and build their robot, and prepare an in-depth research presentation related to the challenge theme. The LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit is used to build a robot capable of completing tasks autonomously on the playing field. Team members can use any LEGO parts to build the robot – including parts they already own.
Each team’s hard work culminates in one day, high-energy, sports-like qualifying tournament. During the tournaments, teams have three rounds on the competition tables to get the best score possible. When not competing with their robots, teams present their research presentations, are interviewed about the technical design of their robots, and demonstrate how they work together to achieve goals. Award winners at regional qualifiers advance to January's Championship event, sponsored by National Grid, produced by Rhode Island Students of the Future in partnership with Roger Williams University. Those who don't advance to the Championship are eligible to participate in the FLL Robot Invitational, held in late January. The winners of the Champion’s Award, our most prestigious award, may be eligible to participate in either the FIRST World Festival or a North American or International Open.