Lego League: a hands-on STEM experience for children
The Lego League 2020/21 season has started!
FIRST® LEGO® League is an exciting STEM programme for 4-16 year olds. Each year a theme relevant to the world around them is chosen as a focus for the children’s work. The 2020-21 theme is called PLAYMAKERS and is based around active play.
Teams will learn how people stay healthy through playful physical activity. They will explore some of the problems of designing an obstacle course for a local outdoor space that can be used by lots of different people. The program is designed to get children thinking and behaving like designers and engineers, developing their ability to observe, question, gather information, and ask more questions. You can register your team here and apply for funding support here.
The programme is divided into three catagories:
Discover, for children aged 4-6
FIRST®LEGO® League Discover will get children exploring this year’s theme with an exclusive LEGO® Education Discover Set. Using this model as a starting point, they design a new model of their own with LEGO® DUPLO® elements. Working through a series of tasks and challenges, the programme finishes with a Celebration Event to recognise the children’s achievements.
More info can be found here.
Explore, for children aged 6-9
FIRST®LEGO® League Explore rapidly develops teamwork, design, programming and communication skills. The teams research the topic, displaying their ideas on a team poster, build a LEGO® model and program one part to move using LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 software. Teams can attend a regional Festival where they’ll present their work to others, share what they have learnt and celebrate their achievements. Each child receives a medal and certificate and the goal is to send them home feeling incredibly proud of what they have achieved!
More info can be found here.
*At the moment it is unknown whether these regional tournaments will be able to run as usual (physical events), be moved to a remote (virtual) platform, or as a hybrid of both.
Challenge, for children aged 9-16
FIRST®LEGO® League Challenge is a global STEM challenge for teams of young people, to encourage an interest in real-world themes and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers. The challenge will see teams working towards a regional or in-school event where they will be assessed on each of the four parts of FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge.
More information can be found here.
How will the league run during the pandemic?
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) have provided more information about how the Lego League programme has been adapted this year to keep you safe while participating. Class Packs are available, which allow schools to run the programme with multiple teams in school during curriculum time, with different size Class Packs available to accommodate the various ‘bubble’ models most schools are adopting at the moment.
When schools first closed back in March, the IET opened an ‘at home’ version of Discover that parents could take part in with their children. So if we return to a remote learning situation again in the future, there will still be ways to get involved.