Changes in FIRST progression of programs

FIRST has updated their website and with that came a change, FLLjr is no longer listed in the progression, and now FLL has it own progression


I don’t mind this at all. Last year at the Showcase event at Championship, the pilot was labeled “FIRST LEGO League Jr. Discovery Edition”. Which is a mouthful.

I’m sure that no one program being called “FIRST LEGO League” without qualification will prevent miscommunication as well.


I’m honestly confused by this change, specifically on the FLL side. I’m not exactly sure what this brings to the table, besides what @Billfred mentioned already. I’m ok with it just cause it doesn’t look like the FLL format will change much, but it’s kinda confusing is all.

Also, I wonder if there will still be an age difference between the US and other countries like before.

Wouldn’t entirely surprise me: for example, FIRST Tech Challenge is “middle school” in Michigan, which is usually grades 6-8 which has never fit the range FIRST HQ posts in its graphics (7-12).

By the looks of it, I don’t think anything really has changed besides the names.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. Discovery Edition → FIRST LEGO League Discover
FIRST LEGO League Jr. → FIRST LEGO League Explore
FIRST LEGO League → FIRST LEGO League Challenge

No changes in the actual programming.



Interesting that this change was made without a formal statement. I think I get why they wrapped it all up into subcategories of FLL (So over half of FIRST’s programs aren’t FLL) but I’m not totally sure if it was worth doing for FLL Discover. I just don’t see that one taking off over LEGO Education’s pre-existing curriculum using their stuff.

Edit: On a side note, they changed the website again. Looks to be less of an overhaul than the -> transition though.

The real question: how will the flag be updated to reflect this?


I would assume like this?


comic sans required.

But, more seriously, I do like the idea of dividing up the FLL range more granularity. I’d always felt that, though there were exceptions, the team of all-eighth-graders was probably going to outperform the team of all-fifth-graders, just because of maturity of presentation and experience. Especially in a program with heavy emphasis on “students do”, it’s a good way to keep teams engaged for longer than a year or two, and keep giving them more challenging (yet achievable) bars to hit.

However, from what I’m reading, that’s not what was done… they just renamed the existing progression. Which is fine too.


worse vex

i’m going to object on the grounds of “ontario FRC teams made like 30 ftc teams in the first 5 minutes they could despite vex being everywhere in the province”

and “they still have best of 3 eliminations”

and “skystone > tower takeover, no matter how unwatchable outsider think both of them are”


There’s pros and cons of both programs and having awful advancement criteria is a huge con for FTC. I personally advocate for FTC but I think people can have their opinions about which is better and having a debate about it is going to end up being a waste of your time.

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FLL Jr. is so much fun. I have more fun hanging out with the FLL Jr. kids at the local elementary school than I do mentoring my FRC team. 11/10 would recommend


I’ll second this. As an FLL jr alum it is a great introduction to the world of STEM and there are so many great things to do in the program. I also mentor an FLL team and its a great experiences.


How long has FLL Jr. been around for? If you are an alum then that makes me feel old!

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I did FLL jr. in 2010 when I was in kindergarten. In 2017 I joined FTC team for 1 year, and am now competing in FRC till 2023. By alum I was referring specifically to FLL jr. not all of FIRST :slight_smile:.


wow. Kids these days. 2015 was my FRC rookie year, graduated in 2018.

I wonder how it will affect us, mainly I think the ages of Discover are older than I remember. Our first season of FLL Jr. we had K-2 doing it, but I do think K is better in Discover. Our 3rd graders go to the other elementary where they had regular FLL this year, but I don’t know if it was only 4-5 graders doing it. I think the eventuality is that students will have to shuttle between the schools to meet the correct ages and available adult leaders, but I’m not certain how that will go.

As far as age progression goes, my only wonder is whether 1st graders shouldn’t be in Explore rather than Discover. I think most are capable of it.

You’ll have to look at how the final age rules are written. They kids may be able to “play up” to the group older than their grade. And since it lists both age and grade, there will be something that is the correct definition because not all kids advance to grades at the same time around the world. The age is usually specified as the age on a certain date of the year. And ages are usually defined as maximums; the minimum is a suggestion.

For example, my daughter’s FLL team technically was eligible to play one more year as HS freshman, except for one of their members. That’s because all the others were born after Jan 1. But they were ready to leave FLL for FRC then, and some were ready to move on from robotics as they went to HS.

I feel like 1st graders in Discovery is probably best, not from a technical standpoint but from a social one. When I shared this news with my mom, who has mentored all four programs at some point, she was fairly happy and shared with me that the Kindergarteners were fairly intimidated by the third graders in FLL Jr. Those Kindergarteners will be in 1st Grade in the fall, and had 1st been included in Explore, they would have to be with not only the third (by then fourth) graders, but by fifth grade as well.

Not a huge fan of the minimum age of 9. I’m wondering if that’ll actually be strictly enforced.