Upcoming FLL Qualifying tournaments:
12/7/13 (1-3 PM) @ New England Tech, 1 New England Tech Blvd. East Greenwich, managed by AIR 4H and New England Tech
12/8/13 (1-3 PM) @ Salve Regina University (O'Hare Bldg), 100 Ochre Blvd. Newport, managed by All Saints Academy and Salve Regina University.
Watching an event is the best way to learn about FIRST LEGO League. Join us for our Championship Tournament on January 11, 2014 at Roger Williams University's Recreation Center. The event is open to the public from 11:00 AM - 4 PM.
Dean Kamen, inventor and FIRST Founder, encourages professionals in the knowledge economy to share their passion for science, technology, and engineering with children. If people with world-class minds share their passion and expertise with kids, kids say, “Wow! I want to do that!”
Meeting professionals with careers in engineering, software design and programming, science or technology lights a fire in kids. It cuts through the nonsense of pop culture and gives our kids a vivid, clear picture of how science and technology helps people and improves our quality of life. It constructs a bridge that helps kids travel beyond school and into the real world.
FIRST LEGO League actively engages almost 500 Rhode Island students every year in designing, building and programming a robot to compete for points on a game table. Kids who are 9-14 years old love to tinker, and they get excited about building and programming a robot out of LEGO elements that moves all by itself.
The genius, though, was giving FIRST LEGO League an annual theme that’s tied to a research project. The project increases scientific literacy by challenging the kids to understand the problems and to create their own solutions. This year’s annual theme is Senior Solutions and it’s about using science, technology and engineering to help people stay active and healthy as they age.
Honestly, though, to most kids, a research project sounds an awful lot like school work — that's why they are encouraged to find experts to interview. When the kids meet people who make science come alive, they see how science, technology and engineering improve the lives of people they love. Then, they want to learn more.
After a 6-8 week season of building a robot to compete on the pre-built game table and creating a research project, teams compete in November and December's high-energy qualifying tournaments where their robots and projects are evaluated by teams of science, technology, engineering and math professionals. 40 teams advance to the State Championship in January 2014. Learn more about the FLL season here.
Can FIRST® LEGO® League teams help us master natural disasters? In the 2013 NATURE’S FURY℠ Challenge, over 200,000 children ages 9 to 16* from over 70 countries will explore the awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disasters. Teams will discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work, and play. Brace yourself for NATURE’S FURY!
FLL challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During NATURE’S FURY teams will build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. They will also choose and solve a realworld problem in the Project. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under FLL’s signature set of Core Values.
The FLL Challenge has 3 parts - the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Value. The Challenge rules will be released in late August 2013.
The Robot Game and Project are what teams do, and the Core Values guide teams through the experience. Learn more at these links:
Why is the FIRST LEGO League Important?
There is a widely acknowledged need to expand the pipeline of students prepared to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and math. This need is both local and global. The Report of the RI Bioscience Industry Skills Gap Task Force (11/9/09) outlines a number of factors inhibiting Rhode Island’s economy, from job applicants who lack exposure to science and technology to those who have underdeveloped soft skills such as communication, problem solving and teamwork. The study advocates ensuring more students are prepared for 21st century careers and recommends placing high priority on improving and expanding hands-on science and technology (STEM) programs for grades K-12.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s 2008 publication “Studying STEM, What Are the Barriers?” further reported a decline of students in developed countries entering STEM careers. The report indicates that a negative stereotype of STEM professionals as “geeky” or nerdy” is reinforced by the media, peers and parents and discourages students as young as 14 from pursuing STEM career paths. The study recommends introducing students to role models who alter the current public image in order to encourage students to pursue STEM careers.
The same study reports that students would be more interested in STEM careers if they understood that STEM industries create a healthier or better world: inventing new instruments that treat disease; or creating alternative fuel sources. Highlighting the ability of those in STEM careers to improve the world will encourage student interest.
The FIRST LEGO League has a record of providing a hands-on STEM program for 9-14 year olds that makes STEM relevant and exciting while introducing them to mentors who are passionate about their STEM careers. The goal of this project is to expand and deepen the reach of FLL RI by creating training programs for mentors, coaches and teams.