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The 2016/2017 FIRST® LEGO® League ANIMAL ALLIES SM Challenge Release is here!

This year’s ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge really opens up limitless possibilities to impact how animals and humans can live and work together.  In the spirit of collaboration and teamwork, this year’s challenge will encourage teams to think about existing relationships between mankind and our animal counterparts and how we can improve these relationships now and in the future.

overhead-2While keeping the CORE VALUES of FIRST LEGO League in mind, the ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge will start off by challenging your team to think of people and animals as allies in the quest to make life better for everyone.  Today, we have everyday instances where people help animals and animals help people. The mission of your project will be to make these interactions with animals better- better for us all. The project for the season will have 3 key parts:

  • Identify a problem when people and animals interact.
  • Design a solution that makes interaction better for animals, people or both.
  • Share your problem and solution with others.


In the first phase of your project, teams will think about all the different ways that animals and humans encounter and interact with each other. In today’s environment, some of these interactions are on purpose and some are accidental.  Your team will pick a situation where people and animals interact and identify a specific problem that your team would like to solve.  After selecting a problem, your team must do the research to find out as much as you can about current solutions in place.  A good place to start is by asking a few questions such as:  Why does this problem still exist?  Why aren’t the current solutions good enough?  What could be improved?  It’s important to note that in the ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge, an animal is any member of the scientific animal kingdom (besides humans) that is currently alive today.


During the second phase, team members will design a solution to the problem your team has chosen to identify.  No solution is too small, the goal is have an innovative solution that adds value to society by improving something that already exists, using something that exists in a new way, or inventing something totally new.  You will also design your robot using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® for solving problems in the robot game. Teams will identify one or more missions to solve with their robot that highlights the many ways innovation and technology have enabled humans and animals to exchange learning. You can find more information on The Robot Game in the Challenge Guide here: Challenge Guide


This phase is all about thinking about who your solution can assist and it will need to be shared by at least one person.  A good place to start would be to share your solution with people that own, sell or care for animals or a professional or someone that helped you learn about your problem.  Teams will prepare a presentation that shares your work with the judges at the tournament.  Your presentation must be live and may include posters, slideshows, models, multimedia clips, props, costumes, and more.  Use your creativity to showcase your project, but be sure to introduce your problem, solution and how you shared your team’s idea.

Registration is open for teams to sign-up, so gather up your team and jump into this awesome challenge that extends the FIRST core values of discovery and collaboration.

For more inspiration and motivation check out the ANIMAL ALLIESSM video playlist: SEASON OVERVIEW

Discover more about the 2016-2017 FIRST® LEGO® League ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge by visiting FIRST® LEGO® League.