New to Highlands Elementary School this year is a First LEGO League team. The 10-student team consists of a mix of boys and girls, and all are in 4th or 5th grade. One of Highlands School Improvement Plan goals is to raise math scores. With that in mind, Learning Commons Teacher Tony Kriesl applied for a Naperville Education Foundation (NEF) grant to start the First LEGO League team.
The Highlands First LEGO League meets twice a week before school with the goal preparing for competition where they will solve real life problems. This year focuses on supporting astronaut’s physical or mental health. To answer that question, the Highlands team is focusing on astronaut physical safety in regards to space debris. To do that, students first had to build their robots. From there they have been programming their robots to maneuver around a course. Some want to move objects; others want their robots to pick up objects, all of which means modifications and programming to their robots. All of this hopes to solve a space debris problem that is making it unsafe for astronauts.
“I like the problem solving and seeing what works and what doesn’t work,” said a student.
All the students pair up to solve different elements of the question. They need to work calculations to program their robot to move through the course solving space debris related questions. Enthusiasm, persistence and good old fashion problem solving are key characteristics of a good First LEGO Leaguer!
First LEGO League has a set of core values that participants follow including discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork, and last, but not least fun! Highlands hopes to have three teams next year!