What There’s a Team Sport for LEGOS?
I’ve got to sign my kid up for that!
Let me guess, you’ve got some crazy talented kid when it comes to LEGO building. Move over soccer moms. (Not that there’s anything wrong with soccer.) We’re the LEGO moms and our kids can build anything out of a tub of LEGOS! If you’re a LEGO mom you need to check out the FIRST LEGO League!
Last season was MacGyver’s first year to participate in the FIRST LEGO League team competition. Curious what it’s all about. This post will include some basic details and links to help you evaluate if it is something in which your child might be interested. MacGyver is just getting started with his second season. So you’ll want to act fast to join a team for this season.
FIRST LEGO League is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds, designed to get children excited about science and technology. (And have fun!)
Each Challenge has three parts:
- the Robot Game
- the Project
- the FLL Core Values
1. The Robotics Game
- Teams of up to 10 children work together prior to competition to build and program a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to accomplish specific missions.
- The students are guided by a team coach. However, all of the ideas come from the team members.
The Robotics Missions
- The team works together, week after week, programing their robot to earn points on a specific obstacle course.
- The more missions your robot completes at competition, the more points your team earns.
- Each year focuses on a specific theme. Last year’s theme was Nature’s Fury.
2. The Team Project and Presentation
- The team members create a solution to a problem.
- Again, last year’s challenge was Nature’s Fury. The team had to design an “invention” that would help people in a natural disaster.
- During the planning stages the team interviews experts in the field.
- Above MacGyver is learning about AFFF Foam used in fighting fires, a key component to his teams invention.
- The team also puts together a presentation which explains their invention to a panel of judges. The presentation can include a skit, props, samples and posters.
3. The FLL Core Values
All competition days are guided by the FLL Core Values:
- We are a team.
- We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
- We know our coaches and mentors don’t have all the answers; we learn together.
- We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
- What we discover is more important than what we win.
- We share our experiences with others.
- We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
- We have FUN!
Qualifying Tournaments and Championships
- During Qualifying and Championship Tournaments teams are judged in the areas of (you guessed it):
- the Robot Game
- the Project
- the FLL Core Values
- And then there are team AWARDS!
High School FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST LEGO League for all ages:
- FIRST LEGO League for grade 4 – 8
- Jr. FIRST LEGO League for grades K – 3
- Young children work with a team to design and present a solution to a problem. (no robots at this age)
- First Robotics Competition grades 9 -12
- Wow, high school robots are big and the competition looks like so much fun!
- Kids from around the world compete.
How to Get Involved:
- FIRST Program website
- Your Public Library
- We joined a FLL team through our local library. It’s nice because our teams include students from all of the public schools in our area as well as homeschoolers.
- Your Public School
- Some schools have their own FLL teams.
FIRST LEGO League Teams are FREE!
- Most FIRST LEGO League events are FREE and open to the public.
Books for Kids GIVEAWAY: The Kid Who Named Pluto by Marc McCutcheon
Why we love this book:
Do you want to encourage your children to think, research, problem solve and invent? Then this is the book (and blog post) for you. This book includes nine short biographies about teens who made significant contributions to science. From braille, to television, to fossils your children will be inspired to imagine and investigate. I like books about curious people who follow their curiosities! This book highlights nine such young people. Recommended reading for grades 3 – 8. However, I’ve read this book aloud chapter by chapter to Miss Enigma, age 6.
We’re GIVING AWAY one hardcover copy of The Kid Who Named Pluto by Marc McCutcheon
To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.
Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.
Do you know a crazy talented LEGO kid? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)
No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, August 31, 2014
The winner must be a resident of The United States.
The winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, September 1, 2014. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!
Kids Books that Encourage
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Imagination
Post in this Creative Thinking Series:
- Kids Books that Encourage Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Imagination
- Kids Books that Spark Creative Storytelling
Sharing this week at: