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Lego and partners open online robotics competition for students

If your child likes "Star Wars," robots and Lego, they're in luck! 

FIRST Robotics, in partnership with Star Wars: Force for Change, announced the preliminary details of their 2020-21 season, Game Changers Additionally, FIRST and LEGO Education also announced the preliminary details of the FIRST LEGO League 2020-21 season, RePlay.

Anyone between the ages of four to 16 can participate and registration is open now for the online program, which begins Aug. 4.

"Whether it's finding their people or finding their path, students will gain the skills and confidence with FIRST to forge ahead and build their future," the group said in a statement

Related: Lego's awesome Women of NASA building set in photos 

The goal of the program is to promote learning in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects while including the "fun and excitement of traditional sports," through teamwork, the group added in the same statement. Students who participate will learn the fundamentals of STEM while applying what they've learned to real-world problems and developing skills related to learning and critical thinking, the group said.

Students can join any of the three groups within the program (though there are some age restrictions): the FIRST Lego League (ages 4 to 16, in which students learn about robotics), the FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 12 to 18, in which students design and program robots) or the FIRST Robotics Competition (ages 14 to 18, in which students use robotics learning in a head-to-hand challenge).

In some cases, there will be Lego merchandise available for participants. This includes a "Discover" box featuring a playgroup and play structure and is for ages 4-6, an "Explorer" box featuring a thermometer, winch and a minifigure for ages 7+ and a league challenge mat that kids can play with robotics on. More details on product availability will be included on the website, Lego said.

"From Discover, to Explore and then to Challenge, students will understand the basics of STEM and apply their skills in an exciting competition while gaining productive learning habits, confidence and teamwork skills along the way," Lego said on their Facebook page.

More information will be available about the competition in the coming weeks, available at FIRST Lego League

Correction: This story has been updated to note that the FIRST Lego League 2020-2021 season Replay is separate from the FIRST Robotics Game Changers.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is pursuing a Ph.D. part-time in aerospace sciences (University of North Dakota) after completing an M.Sc. (space studies) at the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @HowellSpace.