Our Mission (What we do)

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Entry Requirements

Teachers/coaches will enter teams of learners into the annual competition via the websites:

  • FIRST Lego League Junior (FLL Jr.) age group 6-9 Years, 2-6 members per team http://jfllsa.org/
  • FIRST Lego League (FLL) age 9-16 Years, 2-10 members per team fllsa.org
  • FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) age 12-18 Years, 2 or more members per team http://ftcsa.co.za/

Hosted by

FIRST Robotics programs are managed by TUT but hosted by regional partners like Universities and Science Centers.

The benefits include

  • Discovery of the fun in science and technology
  • Engagement of kids in meaningful, hands-on experimentation
  • Presentation skills development
  • Inspires young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
  • Provides students with relevant, project-based learning within an intense, fun sports competition model
  • Teams develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills

Who we target

6 – 18 years of age with 3 different levels of programs for schools or home scholars and private robotics clubs.

How does it work

The annual robot challenge is based around a theme representing a real-world problem. Teams need to do research around this problem and propose an innovative solution to a panel of judges. Teams have 8 weeks or more to design and build their robot that will compete against other teams. Teams participate in a regional tournament and can advance to the nationals and the international championships.

What will it cost

FLL Jr. Team registration fees are R500 annually, WeDo Kit R2990 (Once Off)

FLL Team registration fee R500 and the challenge set (Robot field with mission model pieces) are R2000 annually. Robot Base set starts at R7200 Once off.

FTC registration fee is R2000 and the competition set (Not compulsory but helpful) up to R20 000. The Robot kit R20 000 but we help to find industry sponsors for the teams.

What do we get/What am I awarded?

All teams receive a participation medal and teams that are very good for a specific category will receive an award.

Competition timelines

The challenges and robot game rules are released in August, the regional tournaments start in October and the National is hosted in the first Saturday in December. The internationals are normally hosted from March till June the following year.


Project Coordinator: Johannes de Vries

Email: deVriesJ@tut.ac.za