FIRST Lego

League Challenge

Overview

Grades: 4 - 8

Location: Storrs Congregational Church Parish House

Meeting Times: See Individual Team

Start Date: August 28th

End Date: November / December

Cost: $50/ student

Friendly competition is at the heart of FLL Challenge, as teams of students engage in research, problem-solving, coding, and engineering – building and programming a LEGO robot that navigates the missions of a robot game. As part of FLL Challenge, teams also participate in a research project to identify and solve a relevant real-world problem.  There are 3 main components of the FIRST LEGO League Challenge Program:

The Robot: Students will make and program a robot using Spike Prime technology in order complete missions on a field.  The video to the right describes the 2022 game field and missions that students created their robots around.

The Innovation Project: Completely separate from the robot, students are given a yearly theme.  They are then challenged to identify a problem in that field, find a solution to that problem, and present their research to a panel of judges.  As a part of this project, students will meet with industry experts and complete research.  The video to the right describes the 2021 innovation project.

The Core Values: Through the program design and implementation, the core values of FIRST are embedded in everything the students do.

The student's experience culminates with an end-of-the-year competition where they'll compete with over 20 teams from around the state.  A select few teams will then be invited to the Connecticut State Championship.  

The infographic below shows statistics relating to student outcomes from the FIRST Lego League Challenge Program.

2023-2024 Program

The registration period has ended.  Sign up for our email list to ensure you hear about our future programs, and are notified when our registration period opens up again.  

Question and Answer

For any questions not answered below, please contact ymacary@tcrobotics.org.

Is there any costs associated with the program?

Yes, there is $50 cost for registration.  This helps us cover entry fees, materials, etc.  This does NOT include the team shirt and lunch at competitions.

Are parents required to stay for the duration of the program?

No, parents are not required but are highly encouraged to stay for the duration of the program.  Parents are encouraged to help their child in any way they can.  Some parents even become mentors, and if you're interested please email ymacary@tcrobotics.org.  No experience is needed to mentor or contribute to the program, there are plenty of ways for parents to help out!

How long is the program?

The program is from mid August to November/ December based on if the team moves onto the state championship.  Students meet 6 hrs/week.

How do you communicate with parents?

We utilize Remind, a communication platform that allows us to send out messages to all students in our programs, and parents to individually contact program leaders.  Information on how to join can be found when you sign up.

Do students need to be from Mansfield to participate in the program?

No, there is no residency requirement for any of our programs.

Do I have to attend every single session?

In this program, students commit to a team.  As such we expect students to attend every session.  We understand that illness and other issues may arise, but we hope that every family that signs up commits to the program as much as possible.

Will students work in a team?

Yes, students will be working in teams of 6-9 students for the duration of the season.

Who will be running the program?

The program is run by mentors of the Tolland County Robotics Foundation who receive training and go through 2 different background checks.  Some of these mentors are parents, college students, or alumni of the FIRST program.

Is there a competition at the end of the season?

Yes, at the end of the season students compete in an end-of-the-year competition where they will compete against teams from all over the state.  This competition will be towards the end of November.  Teams that do well may be selected to move onto the state championship, which will be held during mid-December. 

What is the next program after FIRST Lego League Challenge?

After students become too old for FIRST Lego League Challenge, they can participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge.  Please visit that page of our site for more information.

What is the team makes it to the state championship?

If the team advances to the state championship, they will continue to meet after their first competition until their second competition (the state championship), which is likely held at Glastonbury High School.

Why is there a non-technical aspect of the program (the Innovation Challenge)?

While the innovation challenge doesn't involve hard STEM skills, it is an incredible way for students to learn real-world skills that set them up for success.  This part of the program helps students develop critical thinking, presentation skills, research skills, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving.  Most importantly, the innovation project helps demonstrate to the students how science and technology can be used to improve the world.

Why are meetings so long?

Meetings are slightly on the long side in order to ensure students are prepared as possible for their competition and get the most they can out of the program.  Meetings will be divided into different tasks, and students will get a break in order to ensure that the meeting length isn't an issue.  If we don't find 3 hours to work, we will consider shortening our meetings.