FRANCONIA, NH — The Hollis-Brookline School gymnasium at Lafayette Regional School was filled with the cheers and shouts of 21 New Hampshire FIRST Lego League teams in November. Families and schools from all over New Hampshire arrived to compete in what is one of the most complex and sophisticated competitions on the East Coast, FIRST LEGO League.
Founded in 1999, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) was started to inspire children of all ages to enter the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering). FLL is an international competition in which students in grades 4-8 must compete in a multi-pronged event where they will solve real-world problems, work as a team, and program a robot to complete missions on an FLL board.
This year’s theme was Into Orbit and it was Lafayette’s job (and countless other schools across the globe) to solve a problem that could occur when astronauts spend long durations of time in Space. Lafayette has two teams which competed this year, Team 3D: Design, Develop, Deliver; and Team Virtual Venues, each identifying and solving two different problems.
In addition to the projects the teams needed to work hard to program a LEGO EV3 Robot to tackle pre-built missions laid out on a wooden board. These missions would challenge the robot to push, pull, place, lift and move objects(and itself) around the board in a precise and effective manner, a task that can be quite daunting.
Lafayette put forth their best effort in the Robot challenges, as well as the Project, Core Values and Robot Design portions of the competition. With the eventful day coming to an end, one team advanced to the State Competition. The students will always remember: it’s not what happens at the competition that matters, it’s about what it took to get there and the skills, friends and memories that were gained along the way.