Introduction to the ‘FIRST’ LEGO League Robotics Programs

Introduction to the ‘FIRST’ LEGO League Robotics Programs

Unpacking this global phenomenon and making it work with your students

F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League (FLL®), a legacy from Segway inventor Dean Kamen, is an annual challenge event for school students from around the world. Their mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.

Do you have LEGO robotics equipment at your school? Take advantage of this fantastic program and take your students to the next level!

MacICT is running training on two of their programs to help teachers build student teams. The FLL competition is for ages 9-16 and the Junior FLL challenge is for ages 6-9.

This workshop is an introduction to F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League. Using a practical hands-on approach, all the components of FLL will be explained. Teachers will also be shown how these components address key learning areas in the curriculum and how teachers can integrate FLL within the classroom.

Participants will:

  • become familiar with the history and scope of the F.I.R.S.T. initiatives
  • unpack the parts of the FLL Challenges
  • learn how to set up FLL from scratch and where to find ongoing support
  • discover the importance of design and the value of providing students with creative expression
  • build a robot, and learn to program it to perform missions
  • research current literature on the benefits of robotics education
  • identify learning links to the NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum, including Science & Technology, Mathematics, English, HSIE, Creative Arts and PDHPE
  • learn the next steps beyond FLL, including FRC and FTC.

Junior F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League Challenge

For children ages 6-9

Focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-9, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) is a hands-on program designed to capture young children’s curiosity and direct it toward discovering how science and technology impact the world around them. This program features a real-world challenge, to be explored through research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the Core Values, team members work with LEGO® elements and motorized parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review.

See the FIRST Australia website for more details about the challenge.

F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League Challenge

For children ages 9-16

FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) is a competition catering for children aged 9-16. Every year, teams of up to 10 students build, program and compete with a robot, while also learning about a modern problem in science and engineering and developing solutions for it. The entire competition for the year is based around one of these themes: Past themes include natural disasters, senior citizens, food health & safety, climate change, medical science, and nanotechnology. Tournaments are run with the feel of a sporting event, and teams compete like crazy while having the time of their lives. What FLL teams accomplish is nothing short of amazing. It’s fun. It’s exciting. And the skills they learn will last a lifetime.

See the FIRST Australia website for more details about the challenge.

Audience: All teachers and educators.

Keywords: Creative & Critical Thinking, Mathematics, STEM, STEAM, Coding, Engineering Design, Science & Maths K-10, Programming

FIRST Australia

The FIRST LEGO League Challenges are run by FIRST Australia.


This course will develop the STEM skills of those who are interested in being involved. Could be used as a part of implementing new course in STEM. The possibilities are endless.

As the person teaching the content at school, this course gave me some confidence and knowledge, which is required to teach at a high level.

It gave me some practical ways of extending student learning and engagement when designing with the LEGO WeDo kits. I feel more prepared to return to my school and allow students a bit more freedom in exploring and discovering through problem solving.

Robotics Excursions

We run Robotics Boot Camps during school terms. Bring your students to MacICT and see the possibilities in action!


John Burfoot

John Burfoot

Developer & Facilitator

John is our lead LEGO® robotics facilitator and has worked as part-time school teacher with the Catholic Education Office in Sydney, specialising in science and robotics. He holds a Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree, a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, and is a qualified electronics technician. John has facilitated hundreds of LEGO® robotics workshops to teachers and students across Sydney, including State, Catholic and Independent schools. He has consulted for LEGO® Australia, Moore Educational Pty Ltd, and the Southern Region CEO, Sydney. John has presented and spoken at numerous educational conferences, including the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, ICT Educators of NSW, St George & Sutherland Community College and the NSW Priority Schools Program’s Equity Conference at Darling Harbour.

Evan Bonser

Evan Bonser

Developer & Facilitator

Evan is one of our game design facilitators and is working as an ICT Integrator in Sydney. He began his university training in robotics before changing to complete a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from the University of Western Sydney. Evan has taught in a variety of educational environments ranging from mainstream settings in both the public and private sectors to Special Needs and Hospital Schools where he taught K-12 across the curriculum. He has found that where ever he teaches he sees the same enthusiasm for learning through making and uses that to inspire his students. He has a passion for developing a ‘growth mindset’ in his students to help them see failure as an integral part of the learning process; and sees it as the beginning of deep personal development that will last a lifetime.


Unfortunately there are no plans to run this course again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


How do I enrol?
Enrolment is through the MyPL system. Click on the Event ID provided and it will take you to the enrolment page. NSW Department of Education (DoE) teachers can log in using their credentials. Non-DoE participants need to sign up for a MyPL account in order to enrol. Click here for instructions, and click here for more information about MyPL for non-DoE participants.
How is payment taken?
If you are from a NSW DoE school, payment will be via direct debit and appear on your school's Sundry Tax Invoice Statement. Non-DoE schools and individuals will be invoiced. Please contact us to confirm your billing details.
How do I get there and do I need to bring anything?
There are many transport options. See our Contact page for more information. We will send out an email to all participants with parking information two days before the event. Please look out for this email and read the instructions carefully. All equipment will be provided unless otherwise advised.
What if I cancel or don't show up?

You can delete your own enrolment through MyPL, however keep in mind any cancellations made within 2 days of the event or no-shows will incur the full cost, charged to your school. Please contact us if there are any issues with your attendance.

What's a follow-on component?

Some of our courses include a follow-on component to be completed by the participant in their school context with the aim of transferring the new practice to their teaching and learning repertoire. These deliverables are included as part of the course hours and are designed to engage teachers in real ‘learning through doing’ leading to improvement in the skills and capabilities of teachers. This is an opportunity for you to have some time to take what you learned during the workshop and apply it to your own context and your own students. Details of the follow-on will be emailed out to all participants. The deliverables must meet the following Criteria:

  1. Product (this may refer to lesson plan, unit of work or other digital product)
    1. evidence of creativity;
    2. planning and/or design;
    3. incorporation of key ideas in the course;
    4. integration of technology; and
    5. a published/shared product that is appropriate to audience, purpose and context.
  2. Online Interaction
    1. peer feedback; and
    2. community building.
  3. Personal Written Reflection (200 words):
    1. Reflect on the learning experience gained by participating in this course, including the deliverables, OR reflect on your classroom practice (including a description of the pedagogical approach, delivery and implications for the future); AND
    2. Reflect on how you achieved one or more of the specified professional learning standards.
More questions? Contact us.

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