By Jessica Bales
This Saturday, middle school students from across Iowa will flock to Iowa State Campus. Not to tour the campus or watch a basketball game but to compete in the 16th annual First Lego League (FLL) state championship.
Every year the FLL competition is focused around a challenge. The 2014 challenge is to “redesign how we gather knowledge and skills in the 21st century, teams will teach adults about the ways that kids need and want to learn.” The students not only design, program, and build a Lego Mindstorm robot, but they also research and propose a solution to a real world problem. FLL
Naturally, NASA Robotic Mining teams and FLL are a perfect match! The problem solving skills, technical skills, and teamwork gained through participating in FLL are very similar to the ones necessary to be successful in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. Oftentimes, members of the Lunabotics club were involved in FLL when they were in middle school. The Lunabotics team is fortunate enough to be on the campus where the state FLL championship is hosted.
The Iowa State Lunabotics team has been doing outreach with FLL since 2011. This year, the ISU Lunabotics Club has given advice to local FLL teams and worked with other teams via blogs and webchats. Over the weekend, the club will be giving tours of the Lunabotics lab for FLL teams and running a session at the state championship.
Learn more about the FLL here!