FIRST LEGO League (FLL) brings theory and practice together. Working in an environment that encourages inquiry and hands-on experimentation, team members fulfill roles modeled after real world project teams.
FIRST LEGO League is the result of a partnership between FIRST and The LEGO Group. FLL is an exciting and fun global robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology in kids ages 9 to 14.
Throughout the world, FIRST partners with nonprofits, universities, museums and similar like-minded others to support and deliver FIRST LEGO League for a region. Playing At Learning is the FIRST partner for Northern California.
VIDEO: What is FIRST LEGO League?
In 1998, FIRST Founder Dean Kamen and The LEGO Group’s Kjeld Kirk Kristiensen joined forces to create FIRST LEGO League (learn more), a powerful program that engages younger children in playful and meaningful learning while helping them to discover the fun in science and technology. In the 2015 “Trash Trek” season, FLL reached an estimated 233,000 youth in ~80 countries around the globe.
Each year FLL teams embark on an adventurous Challenge based on current, real-world issues developed by FIRST and experts in the fields of science and engineering, guided by a strong set of Core Values. These Core Values are a cornerstone of the FLL program. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.
Guided by a team coach and assisted by mentors, the kids:
- Research and propose a solution to a real-world problem based on the Challenge theme
- Build and program an autonomous LEGO Mindstorms robot using engineering concepts
- Present their research and solutions at a tournament
The yearly theme-based challenge has 3 aspects related to an annual theme: Project, Robot Game, plus a set of strong Core Values. The exact details around the Project and Robot Game are published at the Challenge Kickoff in late August.
- Teams use the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit to design, build and program an autonomous robot to compete in a FIRST-designed game. The game is like an obstacle course using LEGO elements to model challenges related to those encountered by working scientists and engineers in theme-related areas. Each year’s game typically as 3 components:
- Deliver an object or objects to a specific area
- Collect or retrieve objects from a specific area
- Cause an action to occur such as pushing a level
- The project puts the annual theme into a real-world context and has 3 components.
- Identify and investigate a problem (also called research);
- Propose an innovative solution;
- Share your team’s results with others