FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Newton Qualifier and
Eastern MA State Championship
The LigerBots will host the 2018 Newton Qualifier, a FIRST LEGO League
robotics competition for elementary and middle schoolers, at Newton North High
School on Saturday, November 17, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the Eastern MA
State Championship, on Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both events
are free and open to the public. We expect that more than 1000 students,
family members, coaches, judges and members of the public will attend the two
events. About 25 teams of Massachusetts students in grades 4-8 will compete in
the Newton Qualifier and 48 teams in the Eastern MA State Championship. Students
will compete using LEGO robots they designed, built, and programmed to perform
complex tasks. Also open to public view
will be displays of student solutions to real-world problems related to the
outer space theme for this year's game, which is called "Into
Orbit." Information on the game can be found
and a video is
Alongside the competitions, the LigerBots will
hold maker fairs with hands-on activities for kids in the fields of science,
technology, engineering, art, and math. An article about a past competition and
maker fair from the Newton Tab can be found
This year's competitions will also feature an exhibit of some top local FIRST Robotics
Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge robots. There will be opportunities for the
public to watch, touch, and drive these robots! We encourage families to bring
their kids and spend the day!
FLL Information Night
The LigerBots host an annual FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) information night. This year’s event was on June 20th, 2018,
at the Newton North Film Lecture Hall at Newton North High School. The event included a talk for parents, and activities for children. Newton’s
Day Dragon’s FLL team
demonstrated their robot. Here is the presentation from the information night. Email [email protected] if you would like more information about FLL and Jr. FLL in Newton.
About FIRST® LEGO® League
FLL immerses teams of up to 10 students, ages 9 – 14 (grades 4 – 8), in real-world scientific and technological
problems such as food safety or recycling. Teams research and design solutions to a scientific question or problem and build
autonomous LEGO robots that compete in performing assigned missions. Experience in FIRST® LEGO® League prepares
students well for high-school-level robotics with the LigerBots. FLL Jr. is a LEGO project-based program for kids ages 6
– 9 (grades K – 3).
The FLL competition consists of a robot game and a team project. The robot game is played on a 4'x8' field and has
LEGO challenges (like moving a ball or flipping a switch). The project is to identify a real world problem (within the
guidelines provided by FIRST), propose a solution, and present it to the judges.
The LigerBots do not currently directly run elementary or middle school programs, but we are committed to doing what we can
to support such programs. To start with, we are setting ourselves up as an information clearinghouse. We will also support
coaches with figuring out how to get going.
- Teams come and go, but a few legacy teams have openings. New teams are typically formed by 2 – 3 parents interested
in providing this experience for their kids. Teams can have up to 10 members.
- You do not have to be an engineer or scientist to coach a team! The challenge is designed to be solved by 9 – 14
year-old kids. There are many resources available on the web, and other coaches (and the LigerBots!) will also help.
- The main requirement for forming a team is to have space for a 4'x8' game table. Teams typically meet 1 –
2 times per week for 2 – 3 hours, and the season is approximately 10 weeks long. The cost is $500 – $1,000 for
the entire team (you can either divide the cost by the number of participants or apply for grants). Of course, if you want
to spend more money, you can, but do not need to.
For more information on how to start a team, you can visit the FIRST®
and if you already know that you would like to participate in FLL, please fill out the