Saint Jude the Apostle School students compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) program. FLL is a global program created to get children excited about science and technology. Geared for young children, FLL utilizes theme-based Challenges to engage kids in research, problem solving, and engineering. The cornerstones of the program are its core values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly sportsmanship, learning, and community involvement.
The Junior LEGO League is a fun, educational program where children do research, build models, and make a poster of their team and journey of learning. The season is approximately 8 weeks long and competes at LEGOLAND, CA at the end of January through February each year. The Junior FLL program is parent driven through volunteer participation and is eligible for St. Jude students in grades K through 4. Each team consists of between 2 to 6 children building teamwork and friendships as well as being an educational experience. The time and meeting of each team is decided by the parent volunteers and students involved by each team.
The FIRST LEGO League is a step up from the Junior program and is open to St. Jude students in grades 5 through 8. Participants are exposed to potential career paths within a chosen Challenge topic, in addition to solidifying the STEM principles that naturally come from participating in a robotics program. The students participate in the challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (the Project), all guided by the FLL Core Values. Teams consist of 10 competing at each competition along with an adult coach. The team chooses to attend official tournaments throughout the season with local, qualifying, and championship tournament possibilities. Meetings take place after school one to two days a week from September through February.
Pets for Vets Project
This year the Jaguar Robotics team chose to collaborate with Pets for Vets, a nonprofit organization, as their project for FIRST Lego League’s season of “Animal Allies”, different ways animals and humans interact with each other. Pets for Vets’ mission is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by using the power of the human-animal bond to provide a second chance for shelter animals by rescuing, training, and pairing them with America’s service men and women who could benefit from having a companion animal. The following Pets for Vets Presentation is a brief overview of their story.
Please contact Mrs. Eckley, Jaguar Robotics Coach, if you would like to learn more about the program or visit http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll