Yesterday morning at 6:30 am I put 14 very excited Grade 4-6 students on a bus to head to our FIRST Lego League Regional Tournament! 1 hour later we arrived and the students were amazed to see how a high school gym had been transformed into a tournament room. There were 2 main competition boards (Pollution and Bacteria), which were shown live on the big screen! The organizers did an amazing job!
One thing that my kids were exposed to was beside the MC was an ASL interpreter because there was a team made of students that communicated through ASL. We learned a few ASL signs including the one for clapping (jazz hands in the air) and music (conducting).
In the morning, each team presented their project, the robot design, and about the FLL Core Values. It was my kids first time so they were a little nervous about presenting but did a great job.
At one end of the gymnasium each team had a “pit” station where they were able to set up their project board and work on their robot throughout the day. Being our first time, we didn’t come prepared enough for the “pit” component and would bring more materials for this at our next tournament. Many teams had their own mats on the ground to practice so they didn’t have to reserve on of the practice mats.
After lunch each team had 3 competitive rounds. On our teams we rotated the drivers in each round so that everyone would have a turn, but each team works differently! The kids were all so excited and nervous to be the driver. Most of the kids found it to be a good experience, with a couple that realized they should have practiced that part more.
Although we didn’t bring home any awards, we learned so much from this experience. The kids are already talking about next year and making sure we are going to continue to have the club in January! I think that speaks for itself.