This article was written by LMHS sophomore and Jr. FIRST Lego League coordinator Julian Ginzburg.
Penn Wynne Elementary School recently hosted 45 elementary-age students from across the District in the annual Lower Merion Jr. FIRST Lego League Expo. After months of preparation, team members were eager to present their projects to judges and earn an award.
Teams were required to select and research an animal that could live in the same environment as a bee — hence the theme Creature Craze. In addition to conducting research, teams had to create a Lego model display that reflected the environment that their creature would share with a bee. Each model had to have at least one robotic component, which for many students was their favorite part of the entire project. Team members then had to document their research and Lego model on a tri-fold poster.
At the expo, all nine teams (composed of up to six members) presented their Lego projects to a panel of judges comprised of students from the Lower Merion High School Technology & Engineering Club — the umbrella organization for the Technology Student Association and DAWGMA Robotics. The judges had a great time asking and learning about the team's findings.
Students from Lower Merion Technology & Engineering Club also ran a robotics demonstration throughout the event. When teams were not presenting their projects to the judges, most students were actively engaged in driving robots and completing the designated challenge.
The completely student-run event, coordinated by sophomore Julian Ginzburg, was organized and staffed by STEM-oriented high schoolers.
The expo is run as an independent event under the FIRST organization, which gives students the opportunity to explore robotics throughout grade school. Jr. FLL gives students in grades kindergarten through third grade the opportunity to explore robotics through Legos.
The Jr. First Lego League Expo was a huge success this year. Information concerning the event for next year will be coming out in October.