Tommorrow'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.
Hopefully you heard the recent good news about the Meadowmere First Lego League team advancing to the regional championship tournament that will take place in January. We have all heard of Robodog and our amazing high school robotics team, but not as many realize that we have robotics teams at all levels and in most of our buildings. Here is a little more about the FIRST program and our Grandview teams.
The FIRST organization was founded in 1989 in an attempt boost the number of women and minorities who pursue careers in science and technology. There are currently four programs for K-12 students; FIRST Lego League Jr. (K-4), FIRST Lego League (4-8), FIRST Tech Challenge (7-12), and FIRST Robotics Competition (9-12). If you are interested in learning more about FIRST, check out this video on Dean Kamen, the organization's founder, that aired on CSB Sunday Morning last year.
In addition to our FIRST Robotics team, aka Robodog, each of our elementary schools and two middle schools have a FIRST Lego League (FLL) team. What is really great about the FLL program is that students not only get exposure to robotics and programing, they also are exposed to real world problems and a set of core values that drive the program. The FIRST organization describes FLL as;
Each Grandview team practices hard in the Fall and early winter before competing in a qualifier tournament. The competition is fierce and requires team members to work together to complete a series of robot challenges and present to a group of judges. Coaches are not allowed to assist in any way. Last year the teams at Meadowmere and Grandview Middle School became the first Grandview teams to ever advance to the Regional Championship. This year Meadowmere has done it again, and the GMS team competes in the final Qualifier event this weekend at Wyandotte High School. Please join me in congratulating Carrie McDonald, Jennifer Belk, and the Meadowmere team; wishing our GMS team good luck; and thanking all of our coaches for the endless hours of work that make this amazing program possible for our students.
Some FLL pictures from over the years
Weekly updates on the great things being done by schools, teachers, and students in the Grandview School District. A great way for us to learn from each other!