How does one describe something so indescribable?
The best way to summarize FIRST LEGO League is to say that it is a robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds, which is designed to get children excited about science and technology — and teach them valuable employment and life skills. FLL can be used in a classroom setting but is not solely designed for this purpose. Teams, composed of up to ten children with at least one adult coach, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome.
Contrary to popular belief, our coaches DO NOT need any technical experience. In FLL, the children do the work! And the work is programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project, all while being guided by the FLL Core Values. These three elements – the Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core Values – make up what we call our Yearly Challenge. Like any other organized “sport”, teams also raise funds, create a team identity, and go on field trips. To see some of our teams in action, visit our YouTube Channel, or read about their experiences on our blog.
Some teams choose to attend an official FLL tournament, which is hosted by one of our Operational Partners. Operational Partners volunteer to run the FLL program in their region or country and are associated with other like-minded organizations to the FIRST mission.
In early fall, FLL releases a Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic.
Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FLL Core Values. Teams may then choose to attend an official tournament, hosted by one of our Operational Partners.
Past Challenges have been based on topics such as nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for the handicapped population, and transportation. By designing our Challenges around such topics, participants are exposed to potential career paths within a chosen Challenge topic, in addition to solidifying the STEM principles that naturally come from participating in a robotics program. Team members also learn valuable life and employment skills which will benefit them no matter which career path they choose.
Please visit our Corona, Orange County, Riverside and Temecula iShine programs to learn more about Lego League with Springs Charter Schools.