FIRST Lego League, or FLL was founded in 1998, in a partnership between FIRST and the Lego Corporation. As an offshoot of the FIRST Robotics Competition, FLL was designed for a younger audience using the Lego Mind storms kits. Students involved in FLL build small LEGO robots, that traverse a 4' by 8' playing field to accomplish tasks related around a core theme. Some of these 'themes' include:

Previous Challenges

* 1999 - "First Contact"
* 2000 - "Volcanic Panic"
* 2001 - "Arctic Impact"
* 2002 - "City Sights"
* 2003 - "Mission Mars"
* 2004 - "No Limits"
* 2005 - "Ocean Odyssey"

Robot Challenge

Each year in September, the official FLL game is released. Special playing field components, all made of LEGO's, are used to simulate real world things, like polar bears for the Arctic Impact Challenge, or astronaut housing modules for the Mission Mars Challenge. From this date until their first competition, which is roughly 8 weeks, teams have to design, build, and program fully-autonomous robots made entirely of LEGO parts.

Research Assignment

In addition to the robot challenge, FLL teams also are required to do a 'Research Assignment', about modern problems in society related to the core theme of that year's FLL Challenge. The Research Assignment is considered to have a higher honor in winning its award, as compared to the regular winner of the robot challenge.


After the 8-week build season in over, FLL teams compete at one of over 200 regional FLL Events. Here, teams usually have two or more rounds in which they compete with their LEGO robot on the official playing field. Teams also present their Research Assignments to a special panel of judges at the competitions.

For the pilot year, there were 1,600 students participating in 2 pilot competitions.

1999 was the initial year of FIRST Lego League in the USA. There were 9,500 students participating in 9 tournaments.

In 2000, Norway joined the FLL International for the Volcanic Panic Challenge. There were 15,000 students in the United States participating in 50 competitions.

In 2001, the United Kingdom and Germany were added to the countries with FLL teams. There were 17,000 students involved in FLL in North America, participating in 50 U.S. competitions for the Arctic Impact Challenge

In 2002, France and Singapore join FLL International for the City Sights Challenge. There are 3,001 teams, 27,009 students, and 119 tournaments. Broken down by country, there were:

* 2,573 Teams in North America
* 253 Teams in Scandinavia
* 35 Teams in Germany
* 20 Teams in France
* 60 Teams in the UK
* 60 Teams in Singapore

In 2003, China, Brazil, and South Korea join FLL International. There are now over 5,000 FLL teams, 42,000 students, and 200 tournaments for the Mission Mars Challenge

In 2004, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and and Turkey joined the growing list of countries supporting FLL teams. It was projected that there were over 6,000 teams and 50,000 students participating in 210 tournaments all over the world in the 2004: No Limits Challenge.

In 2005, over 60,000 kids from 31 countries participated in FLL.