Hundreds of school children from across western Massachusetts competed at the First Lego League Competition at Western New England University Saturday.
Thirty-six teams of elementary and middle school students participated in the competition for a chance to advance to the Massachusetts FLL State Championship.
The competition at Western New England was an experience that’s both fun and educational. It gave kids an opportunity to sharpen their engineering skills and it also gives them a chance to play with Legos.
But the competition was about more than just finding the right pieces to use, it involved finding solutions for space travel. School children getting a taste of NASA.
“We want them to learn engineering at a young age,” said Taylor Pedley, First Lego League representative. “For me personally, all through middle school engineering was in books and boring. This is a fun way for them to learn it and a fun way to learn engineering can be creative and fun.”
Each team had eight weeks to analyze the challenge mat, design and build a LEGO Mindstorms robot that had to perform specific missions.
Missions completed solely by the LEGO Mindstorms robot with no outside assistance.
“I think my favorite part is building the robot,” said Timothy Rua of Agawam. “I just like to be creative with the technic parts.”
“They’re getting such a head start on high school and college. These problem-solving skills they are learning now, some people never learn. even if they don’t go into engineering they can still learn something that helps them throughout their whole life.”