What is FIRST LEGO League?
FIRST and LEGO Group joined forces to create FIRST LEGO League, a powerful programme that engaged children in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League is a global programme with a presence in 80 countries. Geared toward participants of 9 to 16 years (ages vary by country of participation), the programme utilises theme-based challenges to engage children in research, problem solving, and engineering. The cornerstones of the programme are its Core Values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly competition, learning, and community involvement.
Each annual challenge has three parts: the Project; the Robot Game; and Core Values. Working in teams of up to 10 children, and guided by at least two adult coaches, team members have approximately 10 weeks to:
- Build an autonomous robot that will, in two minutes and 30 seconds, complete pre-designed missions
- Analyse, research, and invent a solution for a given assignment and present it
- Program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS, and then compete on a table-top playing field
- Present the Core Values of how the team worked in the 10 week journey
The culmination of all that hard work for many teams is the participation in an event. FIRST LEGO League events are much like sporting events! Referees monitor and score the Robot Game. Judges review team presentations, robot design, and their demonstration of Core Values.
It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even communication and presentation skills, as they must showcase their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They will also practice the programme’s signature core values, gracious professionalism and coopertition.
**Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. It is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.
What is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, this non-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programmes that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
FIRST challenges young people to think, create, cooperate and learn. They are challenged to design, build and programme robots in a sport for the mind league. But it’s more than robots, it’s about building life skills, self-confidence and transforming young lives, moulding them for the future.
FIRST is a family of four programmes, each level designed to help young people develop new skills, learn how to work as a team and practice gracious professionalism, in other words helping team mates and non-team mates.
NIHERST, LEGO Education and FIRST
NIHERST is the operational partner in Trinidad and Tobago. NIHERST was charged with the design, delivery and management of the FIRST LEGO League programme in Trinidad and Tobago by LEGO Education.
NIHERST, LEGO Education and FIRST (http://www.firstinspires.org/) share common aims and objectives, to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM (and STEM Robotics Robotics where LEGO® Education is concerned), while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
One of the activities that would be introduced out of this partnership would be the hosting of a FIRST LEGO League in Trinidad and Tobago, while FIRST has a presence in the Dominican Republic, this would be the first English speaking Caribbean nation to have such a programme.