When I was a kid, we didn’t have much in the way of competitions or anything to encourage the use of mechanical skills and engineering. I think one of the coolest contests a kid could do is something like this one – when kids from 9 to 14 years old in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties came together to compete against each other building LEGO robots.
The organizer of the event was a nonprofit firm called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The goal of the contest was to encourage interest in kids for science and technology. The challenge was for the students to build the LEGO-based robots to complete a specific task. In all, about 200 students on 24 teams participated in the LEGO League competition.
The teams have been working since September to build their ‘bots. After the robots were completed, the students have to explain to the judges how they built and designed it, then show how well it works and talk about what didn’t work.
This is something I totally would have done when I was a kid had I been given the opportunity.