Kids Practice STEM Skills through FIRST LEGO League

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Students are using Legos to put their science, technology, engineering and math skills to the test.

For the last 20 years nationally and 10 years in South Dakota, kids have been participating in the “FIRST LEGO League.” It’s a robotics program for kids ages 9 to 14. Kids design and program Lego robots. As a team, they build the robot entirely out of Legos, then program it to complete missions, such as pushing a ball. Along with critical thinking and STEM skills, kids also learn how to work as a team and grow together.

“It’s fantastic. Every year I see a team coming in with one or two missions that their robot can do and by then by time they leave today their robot can do a lot more than they thought they could,” said Jeremy Haugen, Lego League Coordinator.

Dec. 15th EmBe’s FIRST LEGO League held their qualifier tournament. Kids in 16 different South Dakota Communities along with a couple children from Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota participated. Teams like “Fantastic 5” showed off what they’ve learned through their building and designing process. They encourage other kids to give it a try.

“It’s not very scary and you shouldn’t really try to be very competitive because you’re working with other teams and you all have the same goal,” said 10-year-old Annie Bourne.

Kids also research and present an innovative solution to a real world problem. This year’s theme is space.  

For kids who are interested, EmBe offers classes and workshops to help teach kids how to get started in building a robot.

For more info click here or contact Jeremy Haugen at (605) 336-3660 or jhaugen@embe.org.

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