What happens to a gummy worm named Fred, when his boat capsizes, he cannot swim and he is stuck on the top of a boat without his life saver jacket, which is stuck inside his boat? It’s LET’S GO First Lego League (FLL) students to the rescue. In teams of two, students try to save Fred using only 4 paper clips, and without the direct use of their hands. Students team up in groups of two again when they are tasked with building the tallest free standing tower out of just 3 paper plates, scissors and tape. What do these activities have in common?
Each of these informal STEM activities help students engage in project-based learning activities that improve critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills. Students will need to work as a team in First Lego League to complete the robot game and project for this years “Into Orbit” challenge. FIRST and LEGO recognize the need to develop students soft skills for success in the 21st century workplace. Students in FLL will solve problems using the FIRST Core Values of discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, fun, and of course, teamwork. These mini STEM challenges give students the opportunity to hone these skills. As they engage in the FLL challenge, these skills will be improved.
After completing the STEM activities (mentioned above), the groups were asked to list challenges encountered during the activity. Reflective questions gave students the opportunity to examine their processes, and develop reasoning and teamwork skills further.