FLL Body Forward Name Announce

 FIRST News Release

FIRST® LEGO® League Announces Biomedical Engineering Theme for 2010 Robotics Season

Dean Kamen Asks Children Worldwide to Explore How Engineering Meets Medicine in the "Body ForwardT" Challenge


Body Forward LogoMANCHESTER, N.H. , November 4, 2009 - FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, and The LEGO Group today revealed the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) 2010 season Challenge: "Body ForwardT."
Each year, FLL selects a Challenge theme that reflects an important real-world issue as a way to create awareness among young children, and to show them how science and technology can contribute to solving problems. In "Body Forward," children  will be asked to explore the cutting-edge world of biomedical engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body’s potential, with the intended purpose of leading happier and healthier lives. 

In designing the annual robotics and research Challenge, FLL collaborates with real-world practitioners and experts in the chosen subject area for input, so that children are engaged in practical and realistic activities. The Challenge Advisory Team for the 2010 "Body Forward" Challenge includes: Scott Cummings, ABC-certified practitioner and Licensed Physical Therapist, Next Step Prosthetics; Dr. Lisa Freed, Senior Scientist, Draper Laboratories; Dr. Marie Guion-Johnson, Director, Medical Devices Fellows Program, University of Minnesota; and Dr. Thomas C. Skalak, Vice President for Research and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia.

"FIRST thanks FLL’s expert advisors for sharing their time and knowledge to develop a robotics and research Challenge that helps children discover how imagination and creativity combined with science and technology can reduce the impact of disease on the everyday life of individuals," said FIRST president, Paul R. Gudonis. "‘Body Forward’ provides a fresh perspective to these critical health issues."

"I am excited to spark children's curiosity and wonder about the incredible workings of living things through the FLL ‘Body Forward’ Challenge," said Dr. Skalak. "Biomedical engineering is the future of preventative medicine, and these talented potential young scientists will be part of the discovery and development of solutions for living systems that we can only dream of today."

The FLL Challenge is comprised of two parts. In the Research Project phase, teams are given a research assignment based on an annual theme. In the Robot Game phase, teams build and program robots to complete theme-related missions. Specific details and criteria of the "Body Forward" Project and Robot Game will be unveiled to teams on September 2, 2010, in an online FLL Kickoff. Close to 180,000 children, ages 9 to 14 (9 to 16 outside the U.S. and Canada), are expected to participate in the competition from more than 50 countries.

FLL is an international program created in a partnership between FIRST and The LEGO® Group in 1998 based on a common belief that fun and learning go hand-in-hand, and that an inspired mind can accomplish anything. Using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technologies , children work alongside adult coaches to design, build and program robots to complete missions based on real-world challenges. After eight intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments around the globe.

With an age-appropriate Challenge based on the same theme as FLL, the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) program introduces 6 to 9 year-olds to the wonders of science and technology as they build models and create a poster depicting their research journey.

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) for children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

About The LEGO® Group

The LEGO Group is a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities through high-quality, creatively educational play materials, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen:  "Only the best is good enough."  For more information, visit www.LEGO.com

Media Contact:

Dennis Garrigan
603-666-3906 ext. 454