What is FIRST LEGO League?
Building on the knowledge and experience gained through FLL Jr., FIRST LEGO League gives teams of up to 10 members in grades 4 to 8, guided by two or more adult Coaches, the task of researching a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.
It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts, plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM. applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s Core Values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Can I Start my Own team?
Yes! You’ll need a few things to get started:
- 2 or more adult Coaches willing and motivated to guide the team through the discovery and competition season (and beyond) – no special technical experience is required
- Up to 10 students ages 9 to 14 willing to put in time and to do any job the team needs to succeed (lots of important jobs available for all skill levels and interests)
- A suitable meeting place, either public or private, that can accommodate a 4 x 8-foot playing field table, and has internet access
- A standard Challenge Set (formerly known as Field Setup Kit) and a common set of rules issued by FIRST and LEGO
- A paid team registration, official team number, and a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot set
- The desire to learn, explore, strategize, build comradery, share ideas and talents, make new friends, be accepted, and HAVE FUN!
To get started, follow FIRST’s Guide to Starting an FLLTeam.
When does FIRST LEGO League happen?
The FIRST LEGO League season challenge information is released in late August. Teams generally form and register from May through October. In the Ottawa area, a Kickoff Event is hosted each year at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School in mid-September, allowing the teams to meet and learn potential strategies they could use when tackling each year’s Challenge. The Project and build season begins after Challenge is released. The season in the National Capital Region all leads up the the Ottawa FLL Qualifying Tournament, which takes place in early-December. A select few will advance to the Ontario Provincial Championship East in mid-January, with successful teams moving on to represent Canada at the FIRST Championship in late-April. There are also many off-season events in which teams can participate, strategize, hone their skills, learn new technology, meet other teams, and have fun!