Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Our First First Lego League Competition

On December 20th, six students from Pioneer Middle School were the first students to ever represent Pioneer at a First Lego League competition.

For those unfamiliar with FLL, it is a three part competition.  The spontaneous "Core Values" section assesses how well team members work together as a group in order to perform a specific task.  Team members must then discuss how the Core Values of Lego League can be applied to school and other settings.  The Core Values of Lego League are as follows:

  • 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!
  • - See more at: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/mission/corevalues#sthash.cVFMw5M0.dpuf

  • 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!
  • - See more at: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/mission/corevalues#sthash.cVFMw5M0.dpu

  • 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!
  • - See more at: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/mission/corevalues#sthash.cVFMw5M0.dpuf

    - 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 know 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 cooperation in everything that we do.
    - We have fun!
    The original First Lego League team!
    The "Project" section is more of a traditional science project.  Students research a way to innovate ways that people learn.  The team shares their innovation with a group of people who can benefit from their research.  They then must create a short presentation to show the judges what they learned through the research process.  The innovation that the team developed involved making a Lego kit for blind children.  After researching blindness and speaking with a blind student who attends Pioneer, the team learned that there are not a lot of toys for blind children to play with.  The Lego kit developed by the team included a sound card with spoken directions, traditional printed directions, and directions written in Braille.  The team even contacted a patent agent to learn about patenting their idea!
    A team member explains the project to a captivated audience.
     Last but not least is the "Robotics" component.  Students are honing their computer programming skills in order to train a robot to complete missions.  Each mission is worth a predetermined amount of points, so the team that accumulates the most points will win this section of the competition.  This part of the competition requires a lot of trial and error; it is difficult to get the robot's programming just right in order to complete the missions.
    Last minute adjustments are made to the robot and its code.
    The robot was able to complete many of the missions.  Most excitingly, the team was able to program the robot to move to the middle of the board and shoot a ball into a goal.  This was a very difficult task to complete.
    Pioneer competes in one of the robot rounds.
    Pioneer was pleased to learn that they won an award for Best Robot Design during the competition.  This was a great honor for this first year team!  Pioneer will be competing in First Lego League again next year.  In the meantime, some of this year's Lego League participants are keeping their robotics and science skills sharp by participating in the middle school's Maker Club and Science Olympiad team.

    Pioneer First Lego League team and coaches.

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