First Lego League Team Moves on to the World Championship

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First Lego League is an international robotics tournament for middle schoolers. Each year, teams across the globe come together and compete. Teams are two through ten members, and they program a robot using EV3 mindstorm technologies. They are allowed to use four motors and four sensors; remote controls are not allowed. Teams have three runs, because robots can be inconsistent. Only two team members are allowed at the table at once, and from the second the timer starts, teams have only two minutes and 30 seconds to complete all of their programed missions. On the table, there is a base area where team members are allowed to touch the robot, and put on new attachments for different missions. If a team member touches the robot out of base, it is a three point penalty.

A new topic is chosen at the beginning of each season, and teams research a real world problem, talk with experts in that field, and come up with a solution. In 2018, the theme was space, and they had to research a problem with a human physical or social problem faced during long duration space exploration within our Sun’s solar system and propose a solution. They have ten minutes to talk with the judges; five minutes present their problem, solution, and next steps, and five minutes for questions. At First Lego League (FLL) tournaments, teams are judged in three areas, project, robot design, and core values. Teams also make a core values poster, and how they demonstrate the six core values, Discovery, Innovation, Impact , Inclusion, Teamwork, and Fun, into their team meetings. The judges in each room fill out a score sheet for the teams. At the end of the competition, the scores from each room are added up, as well as teams’ robot’s score.

At the end of the tournament, there is a closing ceremony where many awards and the team(s) that will move on to the next stage in FLL are announced. The first competition in regionals, and the winning team(s) move on to states, then worlds. The main purpose of FLL is to encourage kids to learn about STEM (science technology engineering and math).

In Virginia, one team from the state tournament moves on the the world championship, and this year it is in Detroit, Michigan. The team that is going to worlds from Virginia this year is Fusion Four. Their team has three members from Lake Braddock, Emma H, Minah S, Reira E, and one team member from Robinson, Devon R.