What is FLL?
FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international Robotics Team Competition for children 9 – 16 developed in a partnership between LEGO Company and the USA-based organization FIRST.
The Mission of FIRST LEGO League is to:
- Introduce children to the fun and excitement of science and technology.
- Develop children’s abilities to work in teams.
- Stimulate children’s use of creativity in the problem solving process.
FIRST LEGO League has been in South Africa since 2004. The original Operational Partners contract was awarded to ARTECH in 2004. The Operational Partners Contract was transferred to the ZelTech organization in 2005. The organization was responsible for the contract until the end of 2007 when the Tshwane University of Technology became the official South African partner for FIRST LEGO League international. Since 2004 the program expand from 19 teams to 70 teams in 2007.
We want to get as many organizations supporting FLL involved including Universities and Science centres. If you can get involved and have contacts please contact the operational partner
How Does it Work?
- Teams of 6 to 10 kids work together to digest, understand and solve a real world challenge
- All teams have an adult coach that functions as a facilitator
- The challenge of the year goes live early September
- The teams have 8 weeks to get ready for the tournament in November. This means: Build, program and test their robotics invention
- Develop a strategy for how to score as many points as possible
- Research the challenge topic and prepare a presentation
- Document all the work
- In November all the teams meet at a one day Tournament
The tournament is normally a one day event where all the teams meet to celebrate and show off their accomplishments at the end of the season.
- The atmosphere is similar to a sporting event
- Big monitors with live feed from the competitions
- DJ and Master of Ceremony
- Kids hype music
- A lot of cheering and team support
- Judges and referees
FIRST’s environment fosters students development of:
- Confidence and self-esteem based upon a known ability to meaningfully contribute to society
- Competence through enquiry-based learning in the disciplines of science engineering, technology and mathematics.
- Community based on respect for self and others.
- Compassion and dignity based on Gracious professionalism.
* A total of 110 FLL teams (1100 children) where registered and we hosted 6 tournaments in 2011.
* One of the top SA teams participated in the Open European championship and ended up in second place overall in 2010
* The top SA team participated in the word championship in 2011 and ended up second overall.
* UNISA got involved by supported 5 FLL teams in 2009 and had a first tournament in 2010. In 2011 they hosted 2 tournaments.
* Gold Fields Mining Innovation approaches FLL to be involved as the main FLL sponsor in 2010 and 2011.
* The SAIMC sponsored a trailer for FLL to the value of R58 000. Trailer will be used to train school children and to setup FLL tournaments.
* FLL was given an exhibit space at the 2011 Automation Expo by SAIMC. We had a few industries interested in the program.
* Lego Care for Education and Hands On Technology SA, donated Lego Robotics Training Equipment to the value of R44 600.
* A New FLL tournament was hosted in Durban in November 2011 sponsorred by SAP.
* SAP has increased their sponsorship for FLL teams from 10 to 25 teams in 2011.
* FLL in Zimbabwe host their second mini and first official FLL tournament in 2012 conjunction with The Harare Institute in Technology.
* SAP SA increased sponsorship to 3 tournaments and to 50 teams.
* Articles about the FLL and schools project published in “Motion Control” the journal of controlled mechanical power.