Legos Used to Foster Future Engineers

 The First Lego League (FLL) is a robotics program for 9 to 16-year-olds designed to get children excited about science and technology, and teach them valuable employment and life skills.

The competition introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting real-life issues and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.

Fifty-eight teams participated in the 2011 Rhode Island FLL robotics championship. You can see all the excitement of the competition on their Facebook page (and get more details on their website).

For the third consecutive year, 3DS’ SIMULIA sponsored the Rhode Island FLL. Its employees Richard Simpson, Glenda Jeffrey and Bhushan Thakar served as judges to evaluate kids’ robots.

The theme of the competition, BODY FORWARD, galvanized teams to discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body’s potential, with the intended purpose of leading to healthier lives.

This translates into building a robot and attempt to complete a series of “missions” related to biomedical engineering – from dispensing medicine to inserting a stent to widen a constricted artery.

Bhushan Thakar shares:

“the enthusiasm and involvement of the children deserves accolades – students strive hard to improve the design, building, programming and strategy of robots; moreover, children are receptive and benefited in suggestions offered by mentors in these areas.”

This year’s winning team was S.M.A.R.T. from St. Mary’s Academy Bay View of East Providence. They are the first team from an all-girls school to win the Champion’s Award in Rhode Island! Each team member on the championship team receives a $5,000 scholarship, renewable for four years, to Roger Williams University and the team moves to FLL World Festival to compete with the best teams from around the world on April 27th to 30th in St. Louis, Mo.

So, way to go First Lego League for helping to build future women engineers too!

Take care,