In Explore, teams of students ages 6-10 focus on the fundamentals of engineering as they explore real-world problems, learn to design and code and create unique solutions made with LEGO bricks and powered by LEGO Education WeDo 2.0.
FIRST LEGO® League Explore (FLL Explore) is the second level of the FIRST LEGO® League robotics program. It changes annually and revolves around a STEM-based theme. Designed for children in grades 2-3, the program teaches beginning coding and mechanical engineering skills. Along the way, they will strengthen teamwork skills such as communication, collaboration, public speaking, and problem-solving. The program is curriculum-based and designed to progressively teach early coding skills using a LEGO® WeDo 2.0 robot and block coding app. FLL Explore was piloted in 2007 as a classroom curriculum using simple machines. However, its current format using LEGO® WeDo 2.0 was first made available for the 2016/2017 robotics season.
- FLL Explore is designed to meet the needs of children ages 6-9 (2nd-4th grade).
- The program is designed around a team of 2-6 children.
- Groups must register with FIRST in order to receive the curriculum used that year.
- At registration, two adults will be required to register as "coaches". These coaches require no special training or knowledge about the program, just a willingness to work with the children.
- Each team of 6 children needs one LEGO® Explore Set (included with registration). A new Explore Set is issued every year based on the annual theme.
- Each team of 6 children needs one LEGO® WeDo 2.0 set (purchased separately from FIRST or LEGO® Education). This set only needs to be purchased once, and can be reused in subsequent years.
- Each team of 6 children needs a laptop, computer, or tablet which has Bluetooth and can support the LEGO coding application (Chromebooks and phones cannot be used). This device will be used for coding. The LEGO® coding application is a block-based programming language and doesn’t require reading skills.
- Teams will also need materials to create a Team Poster showing their journey during the season (eg: trifold, paper, pens, markers, tape, glue, etc).
Note: Participation in an end-of-season exhibition will incur additional costs. Contact your local FIRST Partner for information. Extra LEGO® bricks are helpful when building the final team model.
- The season theme for all FIRST LEGO® League programs is released in mid-late August.
- After the release date, details for each FIRST program will be outlined and registration opens up to all teams worldwide. Registration happens at www.firstinspires.org
- After registration, curriculum materials will be shipped to the team’s registered address. Once the materials are in hand, meetings can begin with the team.
- The curriculum for FLL Explore is broken into 12 meetings. These meetings can begin any time after the teams are registered, from September to August of the following year.
|Meeting 1||The first meeting revolves around participants getting to know each other and building the challenge model which is used throughout the season. Students will also be divided into two smaller learning groups for the remainder of the season.|
|Meetings 2-9||Groups will explore different aspects of a real-world topic, perform LEGO® challenges, learn coding, and keep a record of what they have learned in their Engineering Notebooks.|
|Meetings 10-12||These meetings are focused on getting ready for the Exhibition. The team will work together to design and build one large LEGO® model related to the season’s theme. They will also create a team poster showing their team’s journey through the season. During these final meetings, teams can practice how they will present their model and answer questions in a format similar to the exhibition.|
Each meeting of FLL Explore follows a similar format and lasts 1-1 ½ hours.
|Before the meeting||The coach will prepare by reading through the provided teaching materials. These materials are available in both printed and digital formats.|
|Intro - 10 mins||This activity gets the students working together to think about specific topics and work on contributing their thoughts to the group. This time will be formatted following the provided slide deck.|
|Work time - 35 mins||Team breaks into small groups. Each group will work on different goals (such as coding or building), and will record their progress in the student’s engineering notebooks.|
|Summary and clean up - 15 mins||The last 15 minutes of the meeting will be spent coming back together as a team and discussing what the students have learned. Then, students will clean up the area.|
|Optional time||If teams decide to extend their meeting times, the extra time can be used to more deeply explore the introduction topics by using videos, photos, books, or inviting guest speakers to the meeting.|
- "What is FIRST LEGO® League". firstinspires.org. Retrieved 1 July 2021.