What is First Lego League?

What is FIRST Lego League? The robotics team at Breakthrough competes in an FLL team with other Chicago-area schools and clubs. The FIRST mission is that we don’t use kids to build robots - we use robots to build kids. The kids will work all fall towards their first tournament, which will likely be in early December. As they work in each session, they focus on learning skills in four areas:

  • Robot building. The team’s robot needs to roll on its own around a special board to solve predefined challenges. We use a special LEGO set designed to build robots called SPIKE Prime. Kids learn how to build a robot with wheels, attachments, and sensors. It’s up to kids to experiment with different physical designs to find one that works to solve the challenges at hand.

  • Programming. To make the robot move, they will program. SPIKE Prime is powered by two languages: we will most use a visual, block-based language called Scratch, but some kids may progress to the more advanced Python language. We will teach them techniques to not only move the robot but also respond to the field.

  • Innovation Project. Only a third of the competition is devoted to the robot. Another third is focused on the scientific design process. Every year, kids research a central scientific question, and come up with an innovative solution that they test with real world professionals in their field. This year, the challenge question focuses on how to make the transportation journey of products better.

  • Core Values. Finally, a third of the competition is about team building and core values. The core values are discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun - and we work each session to develop these core values in addition to the technical skills above.