First Lego League Competition held at UVU
Van Welch | Staff Writer | [email protected]
Photos courtesy: Jim McCullough | Marketing Director for the College of Technology and Computing
The First Lego League (FLL) is a competition created specifically for kids in fourth- eighth grades, designed to introduce young people to the excitement of technology and science. The League has only just recently made it to Utah.
The competition was held at UVU on Saturday, Jan. 17, where eleven teams, separated by different colored shirts, gathered in the ballroom for the event to start. Though it was a competition, the vibe was anything but contentious. The staff and volunteers were all wearing crazy, goofy hats so the kids could both recognize them and feel comfortable asking questions.
Gone are the days of Lincoln logs and building blocks and present is a generation of young kids making Lego robots for fun (and a prize, too).
“What is a robot’s favorite kind of music?” An MC asked into a microphone. The answer was, of course, heavy metal.
The teams create a robot with Legos and a hard drive before they present it to a panel of certified judges. The FLL intends to help these kids make stronger connections between more than just blocks. They are assigned a poster project displaying their core values and are asked questions regarding character.
“We were asked how we would improve schools. We said to include more subjects for other kids like science and photography. We also wanted the teachers to have better training,” said Rebekah Schultheiss, a member of the team Mostly Evil Lego Geniuses.
The one word heard even more than Lego or robot was teamwork.
Teamwork seemed to be the real theme of the entire event. The kids are required to do a group project and are judged on their ability to work as a team and display the core values written on their posters.
“The program is all about inspiration and recognition. FLL inspires kid to engage in real world problem solving and recognizes them for working together to learn new things and rising to the annual challenge,” says Anne Bastien, the program manager in charge of the league competitions in Utah.
The MC at the competition asked everyone in the room the big question, “what are we all here for?”
“To have fun!” was the collective response.
In the end two teams, The Un-Angry Birds and The Wolves, went on to the state competition.
One thing is for sure, everything at the FLL competition is awesome.