LEGO unveils new FIRST LEGO League sets

The LEGO Group has unveiled a pair of LEGO Education sets created exclusively for the 2019-2020 FIRST LEGO League season.

Both sets are based on the theme of architecture, with a lowercase ‘a’ – so not the LEGO Group’s other, adult-targeted theme. 45810 BOOMTOWN BUILD will be available to participants in the FIRST LEGO League Jr., reaching around 130,000 children aged six to ten years old across 41 different countries, according to an official press release.

The as-yet-unnumbered CITY SHAPER set, meanwhile, will target slightly older kids who take part in the new FIRST LEGO League season. That’s an even bigger demographic, totalling 320,000 children aged nine to 16, across 90 different countries. In conjunction with the two new sets, the recently-announced LEGO Education SPIKE Prime and SPIKE Prime Expansion sets will also be offered to First LEGO League participants.

Students will then be tasked with completing a challenge using the new sets, along with other LEGO Education products including LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3, which is compatible with SPIKE Prime. The latter is now available to pre-order in the US, with worldwide availability coming in August 2019.

“If you meet students where they are, challenge them appropriately, allow them meaningful failures, they will ultimately succeed, and this builds their confidence and desire to learn more, try more and stretch themselves and their learning,” said Esben Stærk Jørgensen, president of LEGO Education.

“We believe all students can gain confidence in STEAM through hands-on learning. We are excited for all FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. participants to build their confidence in learning while competing with our newest architecture-themed sets and now with the addition of our intuitive and adaptive LEGO Education SPIKE Prime.”

The FIRST LEGO League has been running since 1998, when the LEGO Group originally joined forces with not-for-profit organisation FIRST. The initial aim of the collaboration was, and continues to be, to develop STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) skills in kids, within a team-oriented and character-building activity.

“FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League allow students to engage in the same real-world challenges that scientists and engineers face today,” said Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST.

“This coming season we’re thrilled for teams to explore city life through the architecture theme and create new, innovative solutions to improve our communities for the future. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of young students will be building problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills that are critical to their own future success.”

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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