This summer my 11 year old participated in a FIRST® LEGO® League Camp (FLL®). FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. This not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
In a collaboration with LEGO®, FLL® introduces 4th-8th grade students in 61 countries around the world to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO®-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.
He had such a great time! It was an intense 4-day camp to introduce us to our local league. For high schoolers, there is the FIRST® Robotics Competition. Our local league brought the robot they created…it is remote controlled and picks up and shoots basketballs.
They also brought a smaller one that could do simple tasks like rolling the basketball.
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Due to the shortness of the camp, the boys didn’t get to build this board, it was built by the league this past year. Their goal was to build and program their LEGO® robot to complete a series of tasks on the board. There were two teams who competed against each other to see which robot could complete the most tasks.
They get to program their robots with the coolest software I’ve ever seen.
Here’s my boy inputing the grid coordinates…ah, I’m a proud mama and the geek in me is doing The Happy Dance!
They even has a Junior FLL® for grades K – 3 so it’s never too early to channel your child’s mad LEGO® skills. Search for a league in your area here. Leagues compete on regional and national levels so members learn teamwork, dedication and foster a spirit of community, things I’m in full support of. Plus, how fun is it to build your own working robot?