Research Project

What are you Supposed to do

Research Project Back to overview

On this page Research Project Support Information Challenge Video follows

Projekt Assignment

In the Innovation Project, your team will:

  • Identify a problem with a building or public space in your community.
  • Design a solution.
  • Share your solution with others and then refine it.

At official events, your team will present your Project, including the problem, your solution, and how you shared it, in a 5-minute presentation.

An abstract of the Engineering Notebook for 2019/20 CITY SHAPERSM can be found here. It gives you some project ideas and examples for inspiration to create your own innovative project.

All details about the CITY SHAPERSM challenge (Robot Game, Research Project, Core Values etc.) can be found from this season on on the Team Meeting Guides and Engineering Notebooks which your Coach may download in the Login Area.

Innovation Project Support

Look at the project sparks in the Engineering Notebook and let yourselves be inspired by the missions of the Robot Game to find your own innovative project and develop an innovative solution for it.

Consult with a Local Expert! If time allows, reach out to a local expert to speak on the Challenge topic or who could provide insights into your team’s solution. Ask questions via email. As an alternative, you could have teams research online information from a topic expert.

Furthermore your team should plan the following steps for the Research Project:



After selecting a problem, research solutions that we are already using to try to fix it.

  • Why is this problem hard to solve?
  • Can you think of a new solution?
  • Can you imagine a way to improve a current solution?

Think about possible solutions to your problem. The goal is to design an innovative solution that solves your problem by:

  • Improving something that already exists.
  • Using something that exists in a new way OR
  • Inventing something totally new.

Share your idea with at least one person.

  • Present your solution to people who have an interest in the challenge or a professional in that area.
  • Ask for feedback from anyone with whom your team shares

Prepare a 5-minute presentation to share your work at an offi cial event. Your presentation must be live. It may include posters, slideshows, models, multimedia clips, props, costumes, and more. Be creative, but make sure you introduce your problem, solution, and how you shared your idea.

You can find interesting links, possible experts and background information about the research topic for CITY SHAPERSM in the documents in the Coach-Login. Do you have questions about the Research Project? Send an e-mail to Important answers to your questions will be published in the Q&A section under

You can learn more about how your team’s presentation will be judged by reviewing the Evaluation sheets.

Present your Solution at the Tournament

Present your research to the judges at the tournament. Find a creative way – your presentation can be supported by different formats: posters, pictures, models, multimedia features, your research materials, etc. Be creative, but also make sure you cover all the essential information.

To be eligible for Project Awards and advancement, your team must:

  • Identify your team’s FLL Research Question and explain a solution of the topic.
  • Explain your team’s innovative solution and how it can be happen in the real world.
  • Describe how your team shared your findings with others.
  • Show different types of research resources (offline, online, experts …).
  • Meet the presentation requirements:
    • Give your presentation live; you may use media equipment (if available) but only to enhance the live presentation.
    • Include all team members; each team member must participate in the Project judging session in some way.
    • Set up and complete your presentation in 5 minutes or less with no adult help.


Expert Tips Research

FIRST® LEGO® League is more than just a robotics competition. The teams prepare for the competition in 4 categories. These categories are: Robot Design, Robot Game, Research and Teamwork. To understand exactly what is behind the 4 categories in FIRST® LEGO® League, introduce experts in the small series "FLL expert interviews" tips and tricks.

Expert Nicole explains for example:
... how to find a research topic.
... how to work on the research topic.
... how to prepare the research presentation for the tournament.
... the role of the coach on the tournament day.

Have a look:


Term or Phrase
INTO ORBIT Operational Definitions

outer space

The area that exists between the Earth and other bodies in the universe; with respect to Earth, outer space starts at an altitude of approximately 63 miles (100 km) above sea level.

solar system

For the INTO ORBITSM Challenge: The area of outer space, including all the bodies contained in it, extending fifty (50) astronomical units (AUs), or about 4.6 billion miles (7.5 billion km), from the Sun. The solar system of our Sun generally describes all the objects that are under the gravitational influence of the Sun, or objects that may be influenced by the radiation of the Sun. However, there is no exact agreement as to where the solar system ends due to the lack of data about the boundaries of the heliosphere.



A rocky object in space that is at least one meter in diameter, and up to one thousand kilometers in diameter. Most asteroids in the solar system orbit in a belt between Mars and Jupiter.

astronomical unit (AU)

A measurement of distance used in astronomy and space travel. One AU is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, or about 93 million miles (150 million km).


The study of the sun, moon, stars, planets, comets, galaxies, and other non-Earthly bodies in space.


The layer of gases surrounding the Earth or other planets. The Earth’s atmosphere can be described as a series of shells or layers of different characteristics.


A ball of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun. Jets of gas and dust from comets form long tails that can be seen from Earth.

core sample

A cylindrical section of rock or soil that is obtained to examine the geologic history of an area, or to see the composition of the materials below the surface. In planetary exploration, core samples are desirable so that scientists can explore for possible signs of life, discover how various planets were formed, and search for resources that might be useful for life support or energy.

electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic (EM) energy that travels in the form of waves or particles. The term “radiation” includes everything from x-rays, to visible light, to radio waves. Some forms of electromagnetic radiation, such as x-rays and gamma rays, can be very harmful to humans.


A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and trillions of stars and their solar systems. Scientists believe there could be as many as one hundred billion galaxies in the universe.


The region around the Sun that marks the end of the heliosphere and the boundary of our solar system.


The area around the Sun that is influenced by the solar wind.


A rocky object in space that is less than one meter in diameter. When a meteoroid heats up in Earth’s atmosphere, it makes a bright trail, and is called a meteor. If the meteor makes it to the Earth’s surface intact as a rock, it is called a meteorite.


Micrometeoroids are very small meteoroids that can seriously damage spacecraft. They are often moving at speeds of 10 km/s (22,000 mph) or more.


A natural satellite is an astronomical body that orbits a planet or minor planet.

the Moon

The Moon is the name given to Earth's only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System.


The path of a celestial object – such as a planet or moon – around another celestial body. In our solar system, for example, the planets are in orbit around the Sun, and there are many moons that are in orbit around the planets. Man-made satellites and spacecraft are also placed INTO ORBITSM around the Earth and other planets.


A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star that is massive enough that its own gravity has shaped it into a sphere, and has cleared its orbit of other large solar system objects. Planets are not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion and become a star.


In a planetarium you can watch educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation.

planetary rover

A semi-autonomous robot that explores the surface of another planet in our solar system.


On all the terrestrial, or “Earth-like” planets in the solar system, regolith describes the layer of relatively loose soil and small rocks that covers a harder layer of solid rock called bedrock. The inner planets of the solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – have a layer of regolith, as well as some moons.

remote sensing

Gathering information about a place or thing without being in direct contact with it. Satellites and space probes are used to gather remote sensing data about planets throughout the solar system, and planetary rovers have been use a variety of tools and sensors to obtain information about planets like Mars.


The term “satellite” usually refers to a human-made or natural object in orbit around the Earth, the Moon or another planet. Human made satellites are used to collect information or for communication. The term can also refer to an astronomical body orbiting the earth or another planet.

science center

A science center emphasizes a hands-on approach, featuring interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to experiment and explore.

solar wind

A type of high-energy EM radiation that is released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun. This radiation can create hazards for humans in space, damage orbiting satellites, and even knock out power grids on Earth.

space probe

An un-crewed spacecraft that travels through space to collect information about our solar system.


A celestial body composed of gas that produces light and energy through nuclear reaction. Stars are probably the most recognizable object in the night sky. Astronomers and physicists estimate there may be as many as two trillion stars in a typical galaxy.

the Sun 

The closest star to Earth, and the most massive body in our solar system. The Sun is also the most important source of energy for life on Earth.


A device that allows humans to conduct a type of remote sensing by collecting electromagnetic radiation, such as visible light or radio waves, and creating images or descriptions of celestial bodies. Visible light, or optical, telescopes use mirrors or lenses to see far away planets, stars and galaxies. Radio, x-ray or gamma-ray telescopes look for the invisible electromagnetic waves given off by stars, galaxies and even black holes.

Physics, Forces and Motion


The rate of change of the velocity of an object. In the SI system, acceleration is usually measured in meters per second squared (m/s2), and in the imperial system, in feet per second squared (ft./s2). Acceleration can be linear, if an object simply speeds up or slows down, or non-linear, if an object changes the direction of its motion.


A force is a push or pull on something that is caused when one object interacts with another object. The SI measure unit of force is the newton (N), and the imperial unit is the pound (lb.)


Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between any two masses, any two bodies, any two particles. Gravity is not just the attraction between objects and the Earth. It is an attraction that exists between all objects, everywhere in the universe. The surface gravity observed on a planet depends on the planet’s size, mass and density.


A measure of how much matter is in an object. The mass of an object does not change relative to the object’s place in the solar system or universe. The official SI (“metric”) unit of mass is the kilogram (kg), and the imperial unit of mass is the slug.


Microgravity is a condition of apparent weightlessness experienced on spacecraft in orbit around the Earth or other planets. The effect of microgravity is caused by a spacecraft being in freefall while in orbit around a planet, even though the spacecraft is still under the influence of the planet’s gravitational pull.


The mass of an object multiplied by it velocity.

Sir Isaac Newton

An English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist who’s “Laws of Motion” explain the physical principles that describe the motion of a rocket as it leaves the Earth and travels to other parts of the solar system. Newton also developed theories about gravity when he was only 23 years old.

Newton’s First Law

Everything in the universe – including people, a rocket, a soccer ball or even a rock – will stay at rest or in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. This idea is also known as “inertia.”

Newton’s Second Law

This scientific law describes how the force of an object, its mass and its acceleration are related. It can be written as a formula: force is equal to mass times acceleration (F = m a).

Newton’s Third Law

Often referred to as the “rocketry law,” Newton’s Third Law states that for every action in the universe, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

reduced gravity

The gravity observed on the surface of the Moon or Mars is less than that on Earth. When humans are on the surface of the Moon or other planets, they are in a state of reduced gravity.


Speed is the rate at which an object covers distance, like “10 meters per second (m/s).”


Velocity is the speed of an object plus the direction in which it is travelling, like “10 meters per second (m/s) north.”


A measure of the force exerted by gravity on an object. The SI unit of weight is the newton (N), and the imperial unit of weight is the pound (lb.).

Rocketry and Spacecraft


A material used by a rocket engine that produces a chemical reaction that results in thrust being created by a rocket engine. Kerosene and hydrogen are common liquid fuels for rocket engines.


The phase of a rocket’s flight where it is leaving the surface of the Earth or another planetary body.

liquid fueled rocket engine

A rocket that has separate tanks for its liquid fuel and oxidizer, which are combined at the point of combustion to produce the rocket exhaust and thrust.


An oxidizer is a type of chemical which a rocket fuel requires to burn. Most types of combustion on Earth use oxygen, which is prevalent in the atmosphere. However, in space there is no atmosphere to provide oxygen so rockets need to carry their own oxidizers.


The phase of a rocket or spacecraft’s flight where it is returning to Earth or attempting to land on the surface of another planetary body. If a spacecraft is passing through the atmosphere of a planet, it may encounter extreme heating when it re-enters, and must have a protective heat shield if it is to survive.


Usually, a tall, thin, round vehicle that is launched into space using a rocket engine.

rocket engine

A device that ejects mass – usually hot gasses from a burning fuel – to create thrust that propels an object through the sky or into outer space. The work of rocket engines can be explained by Newton’s Third Law of Motion: The engine pushes out exhaust gases, and the exhaust pushes back on the engine and its spacecraft. A rocket engine does not need to “push” on the ground or the atmosphere to work, so it’s perfect for the vacuum of space.  

solar panel

A device that absorbs sunlight and converts into electrical energy. Solar panels are often used to generate power on spacecraft that will stay near the Sun because they provide an efficient source of renewable energy.

solid fueled rocket engine

A rocket engine that uses a fuel and oxidizer mixed together in a relatively stable solid state of matter.

space capsule

A crewed spacecraft that often has a plain shape and is attached to the top of a rocket for launch into outer space. Space capsules must contain basic life support systems for their crews, and are often intended as re-entry vehicles to return crews safely to Earth.

space station

A type of spacecraft that is assembly of habitation and science modules that orbits the Earth, or potentially other planets, and is intended for long-term space exploration and experimentation.


Any vehicle that travels in outer space.


When a human uses a spacesuit to leave a spacecraft for a short period to work or experiment in the vacuum of space.


Thrust is the force which moves an airplane or rocket through the air, or moves a rocket through space.

Life Support and Communication


An airtight room that has two doors that allows a person to leave a spacecraft without letting all the air out.


In-Situ Resource Utilization, or ISRU, is the concept of using the raw materials from a planet or asteroid to create supplies needed for life support or further space exploration. An example might be using water found on the Moon or Mars to create rocket fuel (hydrogen) and an oxidizer (oxygen) so that further exploration could take place.

life support system

In space exploration, a life support system is a collection of tools and machines that allow humans to stay alive away from Earth’s resources such as air, water and food.

mission control

A mission control center is a facility on Earth that manages the flight of crewed or un-crewed spacecraft while they are in outer space. Mission control centers monitor all aspects of spaceflight, including life support, navigation and communication.

space food 

Food that has been prepared specially prepared for human spaceflight to make sure that it will not cause illness, that it is relatively easy to prepare, and that it will not damage the hardware of the spacecraft. Food scientists also try to ensure that the food is appetizing, because it is very important that astronauts eat while in space so that they have enough energy to carry out their work.


A pressurized suit that allows humans to conduct a spacewalk. Spacesuits must contain robust life support systems that provide air to breath, protection from radiation and micrometers, and a way to regulate body temperature.


A commercial product developed through space research that benefits life on Earth. These products result from the creation of innovative technologies that were needed for a unique aspect of space exploration. 

FLL 2018/19 Research Project as Video