First.logoFor Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) has announced the topic of its seventh FIRST Lego League (FLL) task, asking students to explore the future of learning as part of the FLL World Class Challenge.

The challenge asks teams of 9- to 14-year-olds (9 to 16 outside North America) worldwide to research and present original ideas to enrich the current landscape of learning. Teams will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve a series of wisdom-gathering missions based on the theme.

More than 260,000 children in nearly 80 countries are expected to participate in the FLL event, with an additional 27,000 6- to 9-year-olds expected in the Junior FLL competition. Teams of up to 10 children, with two adult coaches, participate in the eight-week challenge, which culminates in high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Past challenges have included topics such as natural disasters, biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, quality of life for handicapped and senior populations, and transportation.

Teams also have the opportunity to participate at the FIRST Lego League World Festival, to be held in conjunction with the FIRST Championship on April 22 to 25 in St. Louis, Mo.

FIRST Lego League is a partnership between FIRST and the Lego Group, created in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology. FIRST collaborated with experts in the education and digital learning fields to create a theme and challenge missions that reflect modern learning environments.