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 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 give their research presentations, are interviewed about the technical design of their robots, and how they work as teams. Award winners at regional qualifiers may advance to the Championship event at Roger Williams University in January. The winners of the Champion’s Award, our most prestigious award, may be eligible to participate in a variety of post-season tournament opportunities both domestic and abroad.