“Little Kid” LEGO Robotics

Fun times at LEGOLand

“Are you aware of this?”

That’s how my friend Brenda introduced me to the wonderful world of “little kid” LEGO robotics, officially called the Jr. FIRST LEGO League (FLL). While I wasn’t aware two months ago, I am now knee-deep in this new adventure, which introduces children ages 6 to 9 to teamwork, problem solving and simple machines.

Here’s how it works. Anyone can put together a team: a school, scout troop, YMCA, homeschool organization or neighborhood group. Teams have two to six members and meet once a week for six to eight weeks to work on the year’s challenge. This year’s challenge is called “Super Seniors.” Teams will work with a senior citizen partner to explore how one piece of technology has changed during the partner’s lifetime. The team builds a LEGO model of its finding using one moving part and a simple machine. Then they create a poster about their work.

If your child has any aspirations to join FIRST LEGO League, which promotes science, engineering and technology, Jr. FLL is a wonderful introduction. And it’s not too late to join this year’s challenge. Registration is now open for new teams, and the season runs through April. That gives teams plenty of time to complete their six weeks of work.

Are you interested in starting a team?

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9 Replies to ““Little Kid” LEGO Robotics”

  1. I love lego, as did all my kids. This program sounds wonderful on so many levels! I wish it had been around or I had known about it when my kids were still the right age. Now they’re all involved in high school and college, and lego has taken a back seat 🙂

  2. Kirsten,
    I totally have to check this out! my 8 year old would love it. Thanks for posting about it. BTW, did you get your Dinosailors book from Deb Lund? Let me know when you have a minute. tracybermwo (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

  3. Fun projects & post!
    One of my academic friend’s nephews is into this BIG time so I knew something of the huge popularity already. For some reason it didn’t catch fire with us by in our parent floor-time years after we were sent some small kits by a gal pal whose sons stuck to them.
    I have also heard of at least one library youth dept. in our state (FL) incorporating the little plastic blocks/projects into their programs.

    1. It’s interesting how this started with high schools and now is reaching younger and younger children. I also like how, with the little kids, part of the project is to communicate how the team functioned and its results. This is a wonderful, practical use of writing and illustrating. Thanks for stopping by!

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