FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Resources - CARGO CONNECT

  • Overview
  • Core Values
  • Robot Design
  • Robot Game
  • Innovation Project
  • SPIKE™ Prime
  • EV3
  • FAQ


In CARGO CONNECT, FIRST LEGO League teams will reimagine our global transportation system and explore ways of improving how we access and deliver needed and desired goods, making all communities more connected.

Start Here!

Welcome to CARGO CONNECT! (video) - a short video (4:42) from the IET giving an overview of FIRST LEGO League Challenge 2021-22

Getting Started Guide for Teachers and Coaches (pdf) - actions to take before and during your first team session (updated February 2022)

Planning Guide for Teachers and Coaches (pdf) - suggestions for putting together a plan and timeline with your team

Official Documents

CARGO CONNECT Challenge Overview (pdf) - a summary of the four elements: Core Values, Robot Design, Robot Game, Innovation Project

CARGO CONNECT Challenge Engineering Notebook (pdf) - a soft copy of the Engineering Notebook

CARGO CONNECT Challenge Team Meeting Guide (pdf) - a soft copy of the Team Meeting Guide

CARGO CONNECT Robot Game Rulebook (pdf) - a soft copy of the Robot Game Rulebook

Corrections to FIRST LEGO League publications (pdf) - updates to Engineering Notebook, Team Meeting Guide, Robot Game Rulebook (revised January 2022)


What to expect at a tournament (video) - a short video (2:37) from the IET outlining the format of a FIRST LEGO League Challenge Tournament

Judging Session Flowchart (pdf) - format of the 30-minute team presentation and judging session

Rubrics (pdf) - the scoresheet and rubrics used by judges at official tournaments

Awards List (pdf) - details of awards that may be made at each tournament

Class Pack

Class Pack Tournament (video) - suggestions for running a Class Pack in-school tournament

Class Pack Event Guide (pdf) - planning guide and rubrics for running a Class Pack in-school tournament

Session Plans

Session summaries (video) - a series of short videos from the IET covering each of the twelve sessions described in the Team Meeting Guide

Accelerated session plan (pdf) - a comparison of the standard 12-session programme and an accelerated 8-session programme

Sprint plan (pdf) - a 6-week programme laying out the minimum preparation needed to get ready for a Tournament

Challenge quick route (link) - a suggested approach from the IET for teams with reduced time available per week

PandaPower Tracker Template (link) - a comprehensive project tracking tool (free to view, subscription needed to make your own copy)

Core Values

• Apply teamwork and discovery to explore the challenge.
Innovate with new ideas about your robot and project.
• Show how your team and your solutions will have an impact and be inclusive.
• Celebrate by having fun in everything you do!

FIRST® Core Values, Gracious Professionalism®, and Coopertition®
- read about these cornerstones of the FIRST philosophy
Core Values Tips (link) - tips from the IET for demonstrating Core Values

Robot Design

Identify your mission strategy.

Design your robot and programs using your work plan.

Create your robot and coding solution to match your mission strategy.

Iterate and test your robot and programs.

Communicate your Robot Design process, your programs, and your robot solution.

Robot Design Tips (link) - tips from the IET on Robot Design; use these alongside the information in the Engineering Notebook

SPIKE Prime Tech Tips (pdf) - tips for building with LEGO Technic components, and information about SPIKE motors and sensors

SPIKE Prime Debugging Tips (pdf) - tips for problem-solving when your LEGO robot doesn't do what you expected it to

BrickLink Studio (pdf) - instructions for using the free BrickLink Studio tool to build a 3D model of your robot or another LEGO creation (updated January 2022)

Robot Game

Build the mission models and follow the field setup to put the models on the mat.

Review the missions and rules.

Design and build a robot.

Explore building and coding skills while practicing with your robot on the mat.

Compete at an event!

The Robot Game (video) - a short video (2:44) from the IET introducing the Robot Game

Robot Game Missions (video) - a description of each Mission and how it is scored (9:10)

Robot Game Scoring Calculator (link) - the official online scoring calculator

Komurobo Scoring Sheet (link) - an alternative online scoring calculator

Robot Game Table Building Instructions (pdf) - plans to construct a table to regulation size

Robot Game Mission Build Instructions (pdf, zipped) - step-by-step instructions to build the Mission Models for the Robot Game

Mission Model Building Guide (pdf) - a guide to the parts bags and additional parts needed to build each Mission Model

Robot Game Rulebook (pdf)
 - a soft copy of the Robot Game Rulebook

Robot Game Rulebook - Interactive (link) - an online version of the Robot Game Rulebook with larger images and video clips

Challenge Updates (pdf) - important updates to the Robot Game Rules: print and add to your copy of the Rulebook (last update 21st October 2021)

Robot Game Tips (link) - tips from the IET on the Robot Game; use these alongside the information in the Engineering Notebook

Mission Mat Wireframe and Grid (pdf) - useful for planning your Robot Game strategy

FLL Tutorials Strategy Planner (link) - a useful online drawing tool for planning and documenting your mission strategy

Innovation Project

Identify and research a problem to solve.

Design a solution to the problem that helps others or your community.

Create a model or prototype of your solution.

Share your ideas, collect feedback, and iterate on your solution.

Communicate your solution at an event.

Innovation Project Tips (link) - tips from the IET on the Innovation Project; use these alongside the information in the Engineering Notebook

Multimedia Resources (pdf) - pages 7 to 10 include links that may be useful when exploring topics for the Innovation Project


SPIKE App (link) - download location for SPIKE App software

SPIKE Web App (link) - for use with Chrome browser on Chromebooks (in Beta as of 30 March 2022)

Get Started with SPIKE Prime (videos) - three short videos for teachers introducing SPIKE Prime

Guided Mission (code) - code for the 2021-22 Guided Mission with SPIKE Prime

Competition Ready Lesson Plans (link) - lesson plans to accompany the Unit of the same name in the SPIKE App, including Guided Mission

Bluetooth Connectivity (link) - tips for connecting to the SPIKE Prime Hub over Bluetooth

SPIKE Prime FAQs (link) - information about the SPIKE Prime Hub, including colour coded error messages and additional Bluetooth tips


EV3 Classroom (link) - download location for EV3 Classroom software

Get Started with MINDSTORMS EV3 (videos) - three short videos for teachers introducing MINDSTORMS EV3 and EV3 Classroom

Robot Trainer Lesson Plans (link) - lesson plans to accompany the Unit of the same name in EV3 Classroom

EV3 Guided Mission (code) - code for the 2021-22 Guided Mission with EV3 Classroom

EV3 Lab (link) - download location for EV3 Lab software

EV3 Lab Robot Lessons (pdf) - suggested lesson plan for EV3 Lab; no code supplied for Guided Mission

Bluetooth Connectivity (link) - tips for connecting to the EV3 Hub over Bluetooth

EV3 FAQs (link) - some information about the EV3 Hub

Frequently Asked Questions

What is FIRST®?

FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international not-for-profit organisation founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. FIRST prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges.

Learn more here:

What is FIRST® LEGO® League?

FIRST® LEGO® League is an international program created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO® Group in 1998. Each year, the program announces an annual theme, which engages teams of young people in authentic scientific research and hands-on robotics design using LEGO products.

FIRST LEGO League introduces science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to children aged 4 to 16 years. Three divisions inspire young people to experiment and grow their critical thinking, coding, and design skills through hands-on STEM learning and robotics. From Discover (Junior and Senior Infants), to Explore (First to Fifth Class), and then to Challenge (Sixth Class to Transition Year), students will understand the basics of STEM and apply their skills in an exciting competition while building habits of learning, confidence, and teamwork skills along the way. 

Learn more here:

What is FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge?

FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge is a global STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme for teams of young people aged 9 to 16 years, to encourage an interest in real world themes and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers. Young people work together to explore a given topic and to design, build and program an autonomous LEGO® robot to solve a series of missions.

In Ireland, Challenge is open to students in Sixth Class to Transition Year, and is delivered in one of two ways:

Tournament - teams of up to 10 participate in regional tournaments leading to national and international events

Class Pack - for delivery to a larger group, leading to an in-house event 

Learn more here:


CARGO CONNECTSM is the theme for FIRST® LEGO® League in 2021-22. In CARGO CONNECT, teams will reimagine our global transportation system and explore ways of improving how we access and deliver needed and desired goods, making all communities more connected.

What is the Challenge Class Pack?

FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Class Pack is an ‘in house’ version of the Challenge programme. It gives teachers and community leaders the opportunity, resources and guidance to run and deliver the programme within curriculum time or with a larger group of children.

Who are the IET?

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a multidisciplinary professional engineering institution based in the UK and dating back to 1871, with a worldwide membership in excess of 158,000 in 153 countries. The IET is the delivery partner for FIRST LEGO League in the UK and Ireland.

Learn more here:

IET Education supports STEM teachers by providing a range of resources linked to the school curriculum and partnering with organisations worldwide to create experiences that inspire teachers and students alike.

Learn more and get access to free engineering posters and other resources:

Who are Learnit?

Since 2010 Learnit has been on a mission to 'inspire the creators of tomorrow by making learning fun for the children of today'. We are the delivery partners for FIRST® LEGO® League in Ireland and are proud to partner with the IET on this exciting programme.

Learn more here:

Who is Dean Kamen?

Dean Kamen is a prolific inventor (AutoSyringe, Segway, iBOT), entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of FIRST, which he founded in 1989. Kamen holds over 1000 patents, but says that FIRST is the invention he is most proud of, and predicts that the 1 million students who have taken part in the contests so far will be responsible for some significant technological advances in years to come.

Learn more here:

What is the role of the teacher or coach?

The role of the teacher or team coach in FIRST LEGO League Challenge is to organise, encourage, motivate, support and guide the team. The coach doesn't need to be an expert LEGO builder or coder, in fact it's probably better if they're not: the team will learn far more by solving problems themselves.

The IET has an explanation of the role of the coach, including some useful do's and don'ts, on their Teachers and team coaches page.

I'm a teacher or coach: how do I get started?

When will the Tournaments take place?

Subject to the public health guidelines in force at the time, we plan to hold most Regional Tournaments in the first week of May, with the All Ireland Final taking place on 14th May 2022.

The centre button on my SPIKE™ Prime Hub is flashing, what does it mean?


Your Hub's battery is running low. Connect the Hub via the USB cable to begin charging the battery.


There was an error on your Hub or with the program it was trying to run. This can likely be solved by fixing errors in the program, and running it again. In rare cases, you might have to restart the Hub by holding down the Centre Button for approximately 3 seconds.


Your Hub has stopped working, most likely due to a lost connection. Restart it by holding down the centre button for approximately 3 seconds.


Your Hub needs an update that requires a USB cable connection. Connect your Hub to a device via USB cable, and start the Hub OS update in the SPIKE App.

The colour of the centre button can be controlled by a program running on the Hub, so check that your code isn't making it flash!

The Bluetooth button on my SPIKE™ Prime Hub is flashing, what does it mean?


The ring around the Bluetooth button flashes blue when you press the button to initiate pairing, and is solid blue when a connection is established. It remains off if a USB connection is established.


If the ring around the Bluetooth button flashes violet, green and blue, your Hub OS has been recently updated, and your Hub needs to be restarted. Restart your Hub by holding down the centre button for approximately 20 seconds.

How do I replace broken or missing LEGO® pieces?

Contact LEGO Service through one of the links below, depending on your needs:

Bricks & Pieces (link) - online service to replace small numbers of missing or broken parts in new sets, or buy additional parts

LEGO Service (link) - contact form to report missing bags in LEGO Education sets; be sure to mention FIRST LEGO League Challenge

What does this Word Block do and how should I use it?

In the SPIKE App, click on Help and then Word Blocks to get a complete description of all of the Word Blocks that are available.

How do I use Python to program my SPIKE™ Prime Hub?

In the SPIKE App, start a new project and select Python in the pop-up where you name the project. When the programming canvas is open, an on-screen Knowledge Base describes the Python functions that are specific to SPIKE Prime, and includes a Getting Started section. Note that SPIKE Prime uses MicroPython, so not all features and functions of the Python language are available.

The Python chapter from the Computer Science for Leaving Certificate book is available from the Golden Key website.

Sources of more general information are the official MicroPython and Python websites, and tutorial sites like W3Schools

What software should we use for our presentations?

You can use any package you like to prepare your presentation: PowerPoint, Google Slides, Canva, or anything you're comfortable with. It doesn't have to be a slide-based presentation, you could make a video, or present everything live with props or other visual aids: whatever gets your message across!

Internet connectivity and an overhead projector are usually available at Tournaments; however, we strongly recommend that you don't rely on an internet connection for your presentation (download it to your device), and we also suggest that you have printed copies to give the judges (in case of compatibility problems with the projector).

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