Kaiserslautern Elementary School, for the second year in a row, competed in the First Lego League competition sponsored by Department of Defense Education Activity. Teams from all over Europe competed in the event on March 20 and 21. Every year there is a different theme for FLL, this year it was Animal Allies where the students had to program their robots to perform tasks relating to animals in the community.
There were over 18 different missions that the teams could accomplish. Each challenge requires the student to program the robot to travel to a different destination on the map, execute the challenge and have the robot return to base. Each team only has 2.5 minutes to complete as many missions as possible. Additionally, the students are evaluated on the overall sportsmanship and gracious professionalism. The students have been working since September, not only to build their robots, but to successfully program them to complete the assigned tasks. KES had two returning members from last year’s team, AJ Vandeway and Eli Kenemore. When asked what they learned from last year, Eli stated, “The smaller group was easier to work with, not as many people messing around.” AJ said, “Learning programming from Damien last year was helpful.” Joseph Feigel and Connor Kelly joined the KES team this year. Joseph said the most challenging thing was problems with the motors and bricks. Connor’s favorite part was destroying the bee hive in an attempt to get the honey out. The team members met every week to work on the robot design and programming of the missions.
The students worked hard all year for this first round of competition that was held virtually in the school. This is a wonderful program for the students to learn about robots, programming, problem solving, and teamwork. The students used their imagination to build the robot and run the missions. There will be a district competition with this week’s winners coming up in the spring. If you want to learn more about FLL you can check out their website www.firstlegoleague.org and/or come and check out the district competition.