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Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”

Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Participants are eligible to apply for $80M+ in college scholarships.

It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams, made up of up to 15 team members in grades 7-12, are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.

Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.

The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards. Participants are eligible to apply for $80M+ in college scholarships.

FIRST LEGO League Challenge is a research and robotics tournament for 9-14-year-old students. It combines the fun of technology and science with the exciting atmosphere of a sports event. Challenge makes it easier for children and young people to access scientific subjects and to awaken their motivation to learn an engineering or IT profession at an early age.

In a team, the participants work for several weeks like real engineers on a joint project. They plan, program and test a fully automatic robot, do research on a topic of their choice and create a presentation of their results.

FIRST LEGO League Challenge annually gives the teams new challenges and thus has a lasting impact on the development of various skills – throughout several years. The students gain valuable practical experience with complex technologies and improve their problem-solving skills  – all with a lot of fun and imagination!

FIRST LEGO League Explore was created by an initiative of the American foundation FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and LEGO and has been developed to bring children from six to ten years to the STEM theme. The children will be introduced to the topics by the colorful bricks they already know.

Accompanied by two or more adult coaches, the teams of up to six team members ages 6-10 explore real existing problems such as resources, recycling, energy, or the coexistence of humans and animals. They create a Show Me poster that presents their discovery and their team, and they build a motorized model of LEGO bricks. On the “journey” the children learn to work together in a team and explore the wonders of science and technology. The focus of the project is  the FIRST Core Values such as a respectful approach, shared experience, and critical thinking. At the end of each season, the teams meet for an exhibition to present their results, share ideas, and have fun together.

In FIRST LEGO League Discover, a new and exciting challenge is presented every year and as a whole class, children ages 4-6 work in groups of four to explore this real-world theme with an exclusive LEGO® Education Discover Set. Using this model as a starting point, they design a new model of their own with LEGO® DUPLO® elements. Working through a series of tasks and challenges, the program finishes with a Celebration Event to recognize the children’s achievements.

As they work, children develop valuable habits of learning, such as persisting with tasks and applying previous knowledge to new situations. Throughout their experience, teams operate under the FIRST LEGO League Core Values, celebrating discovery and teamwork, all while having fun! Children also get the chance to showcase their learning journey at the end of the program with a Celebration Event, which involves building, a special challenge and talking about what they have learned with parents and other adults. Their hard work and perseverance are celebrated with a certificate and lots of high fives!