Lego League / Robotics
St. Christopher competes in the First Lego League for children in grades 4-6. This international event is based upon a common theme and a mission that all teams attempt to complete. A team of students design and program a Lego Mindstorms robot to complete specific tasks and then compete with other teams in an exciting regional event in November. In addition to the robot mission, the team also researches, creates, and presents a five minute report on a specific topic related to the theme. This exciting event involves creativity, problem solving, team building, friendly competition, and most of all, fun.
Frequently Asked Questions about FIRST Lego League at St. Chris
What is FIRST?
FIRST is an organization founded by one of New Hampshire’s most famous inventors, Dean Kamen. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST’s programs begin with FIRST Junior Lego League (ages 6 to 9), continue with FIRST Lego League (FLL) for children ages 9 to 14, and culminates in FIRST Robotics for students ages 14 to 18.
What is FIRST Lego League?
FIRST Lego League is a program designed to get students excited about engineering, science, and technology through the use of robotics, and yes, Legos. Each year, thousands and thousands of children worldwide compete in regional tournaments that challenge their problem-solving skills and creativity, while at the same time teaching them the importance of gracious competition. Over 20,000 teams in 61 different countries participated in last year’s challenge.
What is the FLL Challenge?
Each year has a FLL Challenge theme upon which all activity is based. This challenge has three main components to it: the robot game, the project, and the teamwork.
The Robot Game: This is the most visible part of the challenge every year since it requires the team to build and program an NXT robot that can complete assigned tasks. Each task that is given is also assigned a certain number of points if successfully completed. The goal of the robot game is to accrue the most points possible within a two-minute window. Students learn to identify, prioritize, and solve problems as they work on this portion of the competition.
The Project: Team members work together to research a problem tied to the year's Challenge theme, propose a possible solution, and then share their findings with others in a five-minute presentation. They will also present their work at the tournament to the judges.
Teamwork: This is often the toughest portion of the challenge! Over the ten weeks from now until the tournament, the team must work together to succeed at both the robot game and the project. At the tournament itself, the team will have to work together to accomplish a task in front of the judges.
What is the time commitment and schedule?
This is a fun and exciting learning experience that does get more intense as November rolls around. This is approximately a 10-week program that will meet from September to mid-November. There will most likely be additional meetings in November prior to the tournament. The Lego League season ends after the regional tournament. That is subject to change based upon our standing at the tournament (i.e. we qualify for the state tournament).
Is there a fee to participate?
There is a for participant for this program. This fee is used to offset the cost of the team registration fee, the regional tournament fee, the challenge field kit, and necessary supplies such as batteries and any needed replacement parts for the NXT. Each participant will also receive a team designed T-shirt to wear at the regional tournament. Any leftover funds will go towards a party at the last meeting.
Why do it?
FIRST Lego League provides an opportunity to develop great research and problem-solving skills while giving students a real sense of accomplishment as they see the results of their hard work in the tasks that they successfully complete. Furthermore, this is a chance to expose them to public speaking as they share their research and ideas with those in their community.
Whom do I contact if I have further questions?