FLL Challenge

What Is FLL Challenge?

FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge (FLL Challenge), formerly FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL), is an international program, created by FIRST® and LEGO®, designed to get children interested in and excited about science, technology and engineering. Every year FIRST releases a new challenge that engages the teams in hands-on robotics design and scientific research. The theme for the challenge is different each year, allowing teams to learn about a variety of subjects.

Participants, ages 9-14 (Have a younger group? Check out FLL Explore!), form teams of 2-10 members. Teams can form from any group: school, scouts, religious organizations, home school groups or even groups of friends. After the challenge has been released, teams have about three months to design, program and build their robot, and prepare an in-depth research presentation related to the challenge theme. The LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit is used to build a robot capable of completing tasks autonomously on the playing field. Team members can use any LEGO parts to build the robot – including parts they already own.

Each team’s hard work is celebrated during a one day, high-energy, sports-like tournament. Throughout the season, three different types of tournaments are held: Qualifiers, State Championships and the World Festival. Teams will first experience a Qualifier event with other local teams. During each tournament, teams complete three robot rounds to get the best score possible. When not competing with their robots, teams give presentations regarding their robot design, innovation project and how they worked together as a team. Teams that attend a Qualifier event have the chance to advance to the State Championship event in January at Iowa State University. At the State Championship, one team will receive the Champion’s Award and may be eligible to participate in a variety of post-season tournament opportunities both domestic and abroad.

  • Ages

    9-14

  • Team Members

    2-10

Season Calendar
  • August 17:

    Global Challenge Release

  • October 2021:

    Iowa Regional Qualifying Tournament Registration

  • November-June:

    Tournament/Festival Season

  • January 2022:

    Iowa FLL Challenge Championships

FLL Challenge Team Accomplishments

  • Solve a real world problem as you learn!

    During past seasons, FLL Challenge Teams explored water conservation, space exploration and city planning as they followed the engineering design process.

  • Program and build a robot!

    Team members create a LEGO robot that can complete the yearly challenge-themed tasks in exhilarating robot rounds!

  • Expand STEM and teamwork skills!

    Throughout the program teams learn and build a wide variety of skills in science, technology, engineering and tech.

Why Should I Join?

  • Build New Skills

    Studies have shown that robotics activities and competitions like FLL Challenge can successfully promote K-12 student engagement and mastery in a variety of STEM Skills.

    See what skills you can learn with FLL Challenge!

  • Increase Creativity

    FLL teams work together to create a robot that can complete season tasks while adhering to certain constraints. These problems push teams to think outside the box through innovation and creation. Team’s creativity and hard work are displayed to family, friends and professionals at official Iowa FLL Challenge events.

  • Improve Teamwork Skills

    FLL teams consist of 2-10 students working together towards a common goal. Every student brings their own valuable perspective, skills and ideas to a team. Teammates learn the value of collaboration and how to utilize individual strengths to complete season tasks. Being on a FLL Challenge Team has shown to improve individual skills in teamwork and communication with others.

FIRST Core Values

  • 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!