FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award

FIRST may amend this FAQ at any time.

  • What is the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award?
  • The FIRST LEGO League program trains kids to think like innovators. The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE is a competition designed to showcase the real-world, innovative solutions that FIRST LEGO League teams create as a result of their Project.
  • When is the competition?
  • The competition runs annually with the current season; there are two runners up and one winner and per Challenge season.
  • Who can participate?
  • Only FIRST LEGO League teams registered for the 2015 TRASH TREK℠ season are eligible. Teams must be in compliance with all current FIRST LEGO League rules in order to receive their regional nomination to submit. 
  • *NEW THIS YEAR* Teams must receive a regional nomination to submit their Project innovative solution for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award. Each Championship event receives one regional nomination to the Global Innovation Award.
  • How does my region determine who receives the one regional nomination?
  • If your region is utilizing an alternate process (see region list), then your local Partner will communicate how the region will determine the nominee selection. If not, most regions will nominate the top ranked team in the Innovative Solution Project Award category at their Championship(s).
  • Can I still win another award if I receive the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award nomination?
  • Since the nomination is not a Core Award, a team may win another Award and still receive a nomination to submit their solution. You do not need to win any other awards to receive the Global Innovation Award nomination. You do not need to reach any robot performance hurdles. You simply need an innovative and stellar solution for this year’s Project.
  • Do I “win” a patent?
  • No. No one can “win” a patent.
  • Where can I learn more about patents?
  • I received the Global Innovation Award at my regional Championship event. What do I do next?
  • Submissions must comply with the award’s Terms and Conditions.

  • Submissions are due by March 24, 2016.
  • Do I have to have a patent to make my submission?
  • No, but we strongly encourage your team to file a provisional patent application for your invention in your home country. The twenty (20) semi-finalists’ solutions will be profiled on the website, and your team should make every effort to protect your idea! You can get more information here.
  • How does a regional nominated team submit an invention?
  • Users:
          • Click on the “Create account” link in the left sidebar. Enter the password found on your nomination certificate. Fill in required information and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Once the “Create New Account” button is clicked, an email will be sent to the coach to confirm the account. The coach will then be directed to a form to enter the team’s invention.
          • Only an adult coach (over 18 years of age) may submit the team’s submission.
          • Prior to creating an account the coach should have the following information about the team’s invention readily available:
          • Required*
            • Name of Invention* (40 character limit)
            • Team Name*
            • Team Number
            • Team Location*
            • Team Website
            • Team image* (photo or team logo)
              • Due to FIRST compliance with youth protection, we cannot allow a photo that includes the face of any person under the age of 18. Alternatively, you may choose a generic avatar provided by FIRST.
              • Files must be uploaded in .jpg or .png format
              • Files must be less than 15 MB.
          • Brief description of your team* (1000 characters or less)
            • Do not include any personal identifiable information about children under 18 years old.
          • Invention Description* (750 characters or less)
            • Description of the problem your team chose and how your invention solves it. If chosen as a semi-finalist, this information will be profiled on the website.
          • The information in the secure area (below) is to help the judges understand how your invention meets the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award criteria. This information will only be seen by the judges who have signed a non-disclosure agreement with FIRST.
          • Question 1: Problem Identification* (1000 characters or less)
            • Describe the problem your team is trying to solve and why you chose it.
          • Question 2: Detailed Description* (2000 characters or less)
            • Explain how your invention works and how it solves the problem you chose.
          • Question 3: Innovation* (2000 characters or less)
            • Describe how your invention improves on existing solutions.
          • Question 4: Implementation* (2000 characters or less)
            • What would be necessary to implement your solution? May include brief descriptions of cost, prototyping, discussion with manufacturers or patent attorneys, market research, or other analysis you have done.
          • Supporting documents (encouraged but not required)
            • Upload supporting diagrams/drawings/photos/prototype details. Help tell your "invention story" and keep file concise (one page, 8.5 x 11) as judges have limited time to evaluate.
            • Files must be less than 10 MB.
            • Allowed file types: .txt .pdf .jpg
          • Demographics*
            • The information in this area is for data collection purposes only. This information is only viewable by FIRST staff and will not be shared.
          • Additionally, coaches must:
            • Verify that all of the team members who worked on this invention were between the ages of 9 and 14 (9 to 16 outside North America) for the current season.*
            • Agree to send at least two (2) student representatives and one (1) adult coaches per five (5) team members to the final round of judging
              June 21-22, 2016 in the Washington DC (USA) area.
            • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award.*
  • When will we find out who the semi-finalists are?
  • The Semi-Finalists (top 20 teams selected by the judges) will be notified in mid-April 2016. These teams are required to send at least two (2) team member representatives and one (1) adult coach per five (5) team members to meet with the judges in the Washington, DC area June 21-22, 2016.
  • When will the winner be announced?
  • The winner and two runners up will be announced at an Awards Ceremony in the Washington, DC, area June 21-22, 2016.
  • How will the winners be selected?
  • We ask experts in engineering, manufacturing, and this year’s Challenge theme to judge submissions. Every submission is reviewed by the judges. No personal information that would cause bias is given to the judges (team name, ages, gender, or location) during judging.
  • Team ideas will be judged on these criteria:
  • Problem Identification - clear definition of the problem to be solved
  • Innovation – improves in some meaningful way on existing solutions
  • Implementation – team has considered the factors necessary for implementation (ex: cost, manufacturing, etc.) and the idea is feasible. Team shows motivation to implement
  • Effective use of STEM principles (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math)