Spring before Season: Challenge theme released

May: FIRST LEGO League Explore national registration opens (rolling registration though mid-spring)

August: Global Challenge Release and materials begin shipping for registered teams

September/October: FIRST Illinois Robotics registration opens (rolling registration though mid-spring)

December through May: FIRST Illinois Robotics Festivals

Mid-Spring: FIRST LEGO League Explore national registration closes* and FIRST Illinois Robotics registration closes


Season Specifics

Teams may start their FIRST LEGO League Explore season at any point during the official season, running August through April/May.

Each team receives Engineering Notebooks (for students) and a Team Meeting Guide (for the coodinator). Use of the Team Meeting Guide is optional but can provide structure for meetings.

Each team also receives an Inspire set: a currated LEGO set designed specifically for the season. Teams are welcome to use outside LEGO to complete their builds.

Teams need to provide their own robotic set (WeDo, SPIKE Essentials, Prime, etc). Kits are available for purchase through the FIRST dashboard. Illinois does not restrict robotics kit use to just the SPIKE Essentials: teams are welcome to use whatever LEGO robotics set they have available.

Teams meet as often as needed. The majority of non-school based teams meet 6-12 times, for 1-2 hrs each meeting. 

It's recommended that teams target and build their season around Festivals offered in their area. If there are no local Festival in their area, teams often create and run their own Festival open to other local teams. Alternately, teams can share what they have learned with family, friends, their school or their community.