FIRST® LEGO® League
FIRST® LEGO® League is the FIRST program in Australia catering for the youngest group of students. Every year, teams of up to 10 students aged between 9 and 16, learn about a modern scientific problem and develop solutions for it, while having fun with robots. FLL® is a multi-part competition judged on three important elements:
1) Robot Teams design, build and program a LEGO robot to complete a series of challenges in only 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The challenge changes every year, and is always based on the year’s central theme. The 2012 game was called Senior Solutions and was based on solving problems that seniors face. Teams compete on adjacent tables to score as many points as possible, with the overall winner of the competition winning the prized Robot Performance award. Many tournaments also offer secondary robot awards judged on robot design, innovation and aesthetics.
2) Project Every year, teams identify problems regarding the theme for the year and develop solutions to solve these problems, which are always related to modern-day problems of the world. Past themes include senior citizens, food health & safety, climate change, medical science, nanotechnology, and others. Through the project, teams learn more about the subject area and present their ideas to a panel of judges. The project and robot game combined teaches students to problem solve, think critically, work as a team and speak publicly. The project also has the potential to change the world, as if teams think of an innovative and successful possible solution, they can share it with their community, their school, their families, even all of Australia and the world.
3) Core Values Throughout the competition, teams are judged on their teamwork, cooperation, Gracious Professionalism®, kindness to other teams, and sportsmanship. This aspect of competitions is designed to encourage students to work together and well. Besides scheduled judging sessions, tournament volunteers and team coaches are always on the lookout for examples of these qualities. Good examples of Core Values can earn teams consideration for awards they would not otherwise be eligible for, and through this celebration of good qualities, FIRST seeks to make students the best competitors, citizens, problem-solvers and engineers they can be.