Jr. FIRST Lego League has a blast with disaster challenge

One Jr. FLL team presents their project on natural disasters to some 1073 judges

Hannah St. George, Copy Editor

This past Saturday, HB’s robotics team reached out to younger participants in the FIRST program from the first through third grade during their annual tournament hosted at the high school. Here, all the Jr. FLL (FIRST Lego League) teams that attended had the opportunity to present their projects to judges, participate in games, and win a trophy of their own at the end of the day.

The challenge that these tech-savvy kids faced was Disaster Blaster, the same one issued to the older participants of FLL. This challenge pertained to preparing, responding, and recovering from natural disasters. However, the focus of the Jr. FLL’s competition is much more geared to learning to working together. “The younger leagues of FIRST place less emphasis on building a robot, and more emphasis on working together as a team,” said Evin Ugur, ‘14

Each team eagerly presented their projects to the judges from 1073, and took pride in their hard work. While they weren’t giving presentations, participants in the competition were able to partake in numerous activities, such as engraving dog tags, driving 1073’s vex robots, and playing games during their lunch period. After lunch, all teams gathered to give out awards. “We made trophies for each team out of Legos,” said Tyler Ellis, ‘14. “That way, everyone would get to walk away with something to show what they accomplished, and they loved them.”

However, it’s clear that everyone put a great deal of effort into the competition, whether they be attending or hosting. The enthusiasm could be seen in every Jr. FLL team, and their spirit rubbed off on their hosts. “All the kids were really excited to be there, and everyone had a blast,” said Craig Stone, ‘14.