The Ultimate STEM Competition
21st Century Learning
The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) uniquely combines the appeal of LEGO, robots and solving interesting real-world issues to get children thinking like scientists and engineers. The FIRST robotics programmes have been described by will.i.am as the “super-bowl for the mind,” but celebrity endorsements aside, there are very good reasons FLL has become the world’s most successful STEM initiative, attracting over 255,000 participants annually from 88 countries around the globe — it makes learning exciting!
Teams are challenged to design, build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot capable of tacking a variety of missions. The aim of the game is for the autonomous robot to score as many points as it can in 2.5 minutes.
Each year FLL centres around a real world issue. Teams must identify a problem related to the annual theme, carry out research and invent a novel solution to their identified problem.
Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST LEGO League signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism ®.
Next Season’s Theme
On your marks, get set, flow!
Drink in the 2017 HYDRO DYNAMICSSM season and learn all about water – how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it. In the 2017 FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge, students from 88 countries will make a splash with HYDRODYNAMICS. What might become possible when we understand what happens to our water?
Watch the teaser to the season and get those thinking caps on!
Full challenge details will be announced on 29th August 2017. Registration opens May 2017.
Three great Scottish venues
lined up for 2017/18
Glasgow Clyde College
Saturday 9th December 2017
Dundee and Angus College
Saturday 13th January 2018
The University of Edinburgh
Moray House School of Education
Saturday 20th January 2018
To take part you will need a team of up to 10 enthusiastic kids aged between 9 and 16. The team will need at least one dedicated coach too.
Teams will need to have their own LEGO Mindstorms robot for the duration of the programme (Sept-Jan and longer if they proceed to the UK finals).
Teams must be registered to compete in one of the regional tournaments. The fee is £150+VAT. This covers the cost of your field mat and Lego robot missions for the season.
If the cost of the robot kit and registration are an obstacle check out our cost cutting ideas below.
Sign Up to Join the Fun
FLL in Scotland is run by Lambda Jam in partnership with the RSE Young Academy of Scotland. We are the Scottish regional partners for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) who organise FLL at the UK and Ireland level. You must register your team with the IET to take part in the season.
Registration will open in May 2017 and remain open until September 2017. If tournaments reach capacity registration will close early. All of the Scottish tournaments have had waiting lists for the past three years so to avoid disappointment register early!
Funding Your Team
Getting the Ball Rolling
We want the excitement and rewards of FLL to reach as many children as possible, but we recognise that getting the ball rolling can be difficult due to financial barriers. Starting an FLL team does require some investment — similar to setting up a new sports team. To ease the cost you could explore these various options:
- Approach local engineering and computing-based companies to see if they’ll sponsor you as part of their CSR work. As well as helping with your costs, they could provide team t-shirts containing the company’s logo, and feature in any local media coverage of your team’s work – students competing with LEGO robots makes for a good news story.
- Set up a crowdfunding campaign on a site like GoFundMe. It’s amazing how generous friends, families and communities can be.
- Contact your local authority or STEMNET contractor to see if they have or know of anyone who has a Mindstorms robot kit your team could borrow for the season.
- Hold a “LEGO Amnesty” by asking parents to donate unused LEGO to your team with which they can build their robot.
- Hold a fun fundraising event! Treasure hunts, discos and craft fayres are good ideas for raising the FLL registration fee.