(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an
international, K-12 not-for-profit organization founded to inspire young
people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announced
that the 2018-2019 FIRST®
LEGO® League and FIRST®
LEGO® League Jr. seasons task students to explore the
challenges of living in and traveling through space.
“Each year, FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League
design real-world challenges that fuel children’s natural curiosity and
appetite for discovery,” said Kim Wierman, director of FIRST LEGO
League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League at FIRST. “The concepts
they are already learning in school are reinforced in fun and playful
applications. Space is a topic that sparks curiosity among students of
all ages, and over the course of the season, our students will learn the
value of teamwork and collaboration that is so essential to modern space
For the FIRST LEGO League Jr. MISSION MOONSM and FIRST
LEGO League INTO ORBITSM Challenges, FIRST
collaborated with experts in the fields of aerospace education,
astrogeology, human physiology in space, space exploration technology
and more. These experts made up the Challenge Advisory Team, which
included representatives from European Space Agency, NASA, Buzz Aldrin
Space Institute, International Planetarium Society and U.S. Geological
Survey, among others. These specialists collaborated with FIRST to
create a theme and challenge missions that reflect the physical and
social problems associated with long-duration space flight.
Team registration for both programs is now
MISSION MOON Challenge will reach over 85,000 children, ages 6-10,
from 55 countries and help them learn about the Earth’s moon and what is
needed to live there.
“Space is exciting because it’s the last frontier that we haven’t
explored totally,” said Patrick McQuillan, of the International
Planetarium Society, who served as a consultant on the development of
the challenge. “In order to explore space, technology has to be
developed that doesn’t exist. So that inspires engineers to develop
those things to get us to the moon or to Mars to try to live there.”
Each year since 2004, FIRST LEGO League Jr. presents a new and
exciting challenge to ignite creativity in young children. This year,
while exploring the real-world theme of space, teams will use LEGO®
Education WeDo 2.0 to build and program a model that moves, learning
basic engineering and programming concepts. They will also illustrate
their research through a Show Me Poster. Throughout their
experience, teams will operate under the signature set of FIRST Core
Values, which emphasize discovery, inclusion, innovation and fun.
As part of the annual registration fee, teams receive an exclusive LEGO
Education Inspire Set containing 700+ LEGO® bricks and
elements teams can use to construct their team model. In this set will
also be a yearly model – a rocket for this season – that serves as a
starting point for teams.
In the 2018-2019
INTO ORBITSM Challenge, roughly 320,000 children, ages 9
to 16*, from nearly 100 countries will explore how to solve the physical
and social problems associated with long-duration space flight, and
propose solutions for any issues they identify.
“The universe is almost infinitely large. There are so many
possibilities, opportunities, and exciting discoveries waiting for us in
the future,” said Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who was among the
experts FIRST and LEGO Education consulted in developing the
challenges. “And that, to me, is what space exploration is all about:
opening the door and seeing what’s on the other side.”
FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and
engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season, teams of up to 10 students will
choose and solve a real-world problem in an open-ended project. Teams
will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO®
MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a series of space-themed
missions as part of the Robot Game, which include: growing food in
space; fighting muscle atrophy in orbit; collecting samples; and more.
The exclusive LEGO models that line the field were inspired by the
stories and experiences of STEM professionals who represent the many
fields and roles needed to send humans to space. Throughout the season,
teams will operate under the signature set of FIRST Core Values,
celebrating discovery, innovation, inclusion and fun.
*ages vary by country
FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League are two
of four international K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering and
math) robotics programs in a Progression of Programs offered by FIRST®.
This season, FIRST LEGO League anticipates over 40,000
teams will compete in more than 1,450 Qualifying and Championship
Tournaments globally. Select teams will be invited to participate at two FIRST LEGO
League World Festivals, to be held in conjunction with the FIRST Championship,
April 17-20, 2019, in Houston, and April 24-27, 2019, in Detroit.
LEGO Education is a founding partner of FIRST LEGO League Jr.
and FIRST LEGO League. FIRST LEGO League Jr. receives global
support from LEGO Education. FIRST LEGO League is delivered
annually through the support of global sponsors LEGO Education, 3M, NI
and Rockwell Automation.
Kamen founded FIRST®
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to
inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based
in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative
programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while
motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology,
and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies
and more than $80 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit
organization hosts the FIRST®
Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST®
Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST®
LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST®
LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious
Professionalism® is a way of doing things that
encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and
respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST,
go to www.firstinspires.org.
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