This is my first year entering teams into the Australian FIRST LEGO League Junior Challenge. For me, the motivation behind this initiative was Graham Wegner from Prospect North Primary School, who delivered an amazing presentation which I attended earlier this year.
So what is it all about? Well, let the kids explain:
The theme of this year’s challenge is Mission Moon. I selected 10 selected from Year 2 to 4 to work with myself throughout term 3 and 4 on the challenge, which involves researching, planning, LEGO and robotics. I work with teams during two of my non-contact lessons each week.
Students initially needed to build a rocket ship to go to the moon which could carry all the supplies they need. Then they needed to engineer and design solutions for various problems. For example, there is ice on the moon, but it is frozen and located in craters. They needed to work out how they could build and design robotic prototypes to find ice, lift the ice out of the craters, transport it back to their moon base, store it, melt it and then use it. The challenges involve extreme problem solving, planning and of course playing with LEGO and robotics!
The initial outlay is $20 per team for a Lego kit and then you are provided with team meeting guidelines. In addition, each team needs to use a LEGO WeDo2 kit which retails for about $180 from memory. I already had these so it wasn’t an issue.
You also need to organise an expo or join another school who are hosting an expo. This year I am very luck to be joining Prospect North Primary School. Under the guidance of Graham, who is is a great leader for this initiative, I also organised for team t-shirts for my students.
For now, that is where we are up to. We are just at the planning stage for our Mission Moon Bases, and haven’t even started our posters yet. There is a lot of organisation which goes on in the background. However, this is a great initiative which I currently recommend. Will keep you posted as we progress. Fostering creative minds 🙂