About First Lego League in Dexter

I am often asked what a First Lego League Team is.  What do we do?  Are there competitions?  Where can I learn more?  Rather than writing this in an email time and again, I thought it would be better to capture it here.

What is First Lego League (FLL)?
From the FLL website:
Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.
It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s signature Core Values.
I am sure that some of you are still left wondering what sorts of things the kids are actually doing.

What do we do?
In a typical meeting, we break up the kids into groups to work on a number of things.  We typically have teams working on building new attachments, or making modifications to the robot, another team is working on programming the robot to complete some task, and yet another team is working on the project.

The kids work together to build and program a robot using Lego Mindstorms to complete a series of missions.  the kids decide which missions they want to tackle and what order they want to tackle them.  Then, they need to come up with a design for their robot and build it.  We often run through the programs that they have written and help them determine what order they want to run them in.

The project is different each year, but it is always a real life problem area.  The kids need to identify a specific problem and come up with a solution to the problem.  The need to do some research to see how viable their solution is, and then present the solution to experts to gather feedback.  Then, they need to present their research and solution at the competition.

Does FLL have competitions?
Yes.  There are competitions.  The kids will participate in at least one competition this season.  We always do a qualifying tournament.  If the team does well enough, they will continue on to States, then regionals and on.  Since we have been coaching, we have not gone past the initial qualifying tournament, however the kids have a blast!

How do I sign up?
This year we are working with Community Education to get this through the schools.  We will be meeting Wednesday evenings right after school until 4:45.  You can see the listing in the community education site here.

Want more information?

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