Find out what FIRST LEGO League Challenge is all about

What is FIRST LEGO League Challenge?

The education program FIRST LEGO League consists of two divisions:

  • Explore (formerly FIRST LEGO League Junior) and
  • Challenge (formerly FIRST LEGO League).

It accompanies and inspires students for several years and has a sustainable, positive impact on their STEM, teamwork and communication skills.

FIRST LEGO League Challenge is a research and robotics tournament for 9-16-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!

Overview of the FLL Challenge program:

further information about the Robot Game

During the preparation time, the teams build and program a robot based on the LEGO Mindstorms system or LEGO Spike Prime. This robot is to solve as many of the given robot game missions as possible on the FIRST LEGO League Challenge Field. The tasks require the robot to navigate, detect, transport or deliver objects. The Challenge Set consists of an approx. 3.5 m2 roll-out mat on which LEGO models are placed according to instructions. To prepare for the tournament, each team needs a Challenge Set. The order is placed when the team is registered.

On the day of the tournament, each team competes in three Robot Game preliminary rounds in order to solve as many missions as possible and collect points. Each match lasts 2½ minutes. Referees evaluate the Robot Game and make sure that the rules are followed.

More about the current Robot Game.

further information on the Research Project

During the preparation period, each team researches a problem of its own choice within the annual theme. Like real scientists, the teams develop a research question, research and consult experts to find a solution to the problem and share it with others.

On the day of the tournament, the teams present their results to a jury in 5 minutes. It is important that all aspects of the research assignment are included. The presentation possibilities are manifold - the teams can be creative!

More about the research project.

Why the new name?

FIRST LEGO League Challenge was until recently called FIRST LEGO League. With the rebranding, a joint educational program is being created: FIRST LEGO League with the divisions FIRST LEGO League Explore (for children from 6 to 10 years of age) and FIRST LEGO League Challenge (for students from 9 to 16 years of age). This illustrates the similarities between the two divisions, which are particularly characterized by core values such as innovation and teamwork. Neither Explore nor Challenge will change in terms of content. The rebranding shows that children and young people will find suitable challenges, exciting tasks, and relevant topics for every age group in the FIRST LEGO League. They can grow in and with the program over many years and strengthen their skills.

FIRST Core Values

All FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams, coaches, mentors and organizers know the FIRST Core Values and act according to them. They describe our way of working together, which is characterized by respectful cooperation.

  • Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.

  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.

  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.

  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.

  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.

  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!


The online registration is open annually from April to October. In spring we publish the season topic - however, what exactly is behind it remains top secret until early August. Only at the kick-off the teams find out which tasks they have to accomplish in the Robot Game and what the Research project is.

From August onwards, the teams will spend at least twelve weeks working intensively on the tasks. During the preparation phase, each team constructs and programs a robot, independently researches and investigates a topic, finds solutions and creates a presentation of the results. Together with their coach, the teams prepare for participation in a regional tournament. These take place from December to the February.

On the tournament day, the teams meet with other regional teams and present their results to judges and referees. The teams are judged in the categories Robot Game, Research, Robot Design, Core Values and Overall Performance. Depending on the size of the regional tournament, one or more teams qualify for a qualifying tournament. There the best teams qualify for the FIRST LEGO League Final Germany, Austria and Switzerland in March.