One of the core values of First LEGO League is Impact, and the Robo Dweebs showed this value in action at the Two Harbors Public Library on December 1. The Robo Dweebs created the WeDo event in partnership with the library, with the goal of impacting younger students and families in the Two Harbors community.
Northern STEM Robotics, a non-profit focusing on increasing STEM learning in the region, loaned the WeDo kits for the event. Though the kits are no longer supported by LEGO education, they are used in First LEGO Explore, a program for grades K-3. “The Robo Dweebs wanted these younger students to be included in all the fun of beginning robotics and engineering ideas. Inclusion and Fun are two more core values we use and celebrate through First,” Head Coach Jenna Udenberg says. Robo Dweebs teamed up with 1st to 4th-grade students at the WeDo event to teach robotics skills and have fun creating.
This season’s theme for the First LEGO League Challenge is “Masterpiece”. “It is a very colorful season focused on the hobbies and activities of our teammates and how you can use STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to immerse others in your beloved activities to increase engagement of others in your activities,” Udenberg explains. Using the Masterpiece theme for the Innovative project has proved a challenge for many teams due to the wide-open nature of the topic, with innumerable approaches to finding a real-world problem and creating a new real-world solution, or tweaking an existing solution and making it better using STEAM. The Robot Game board is colorful this year, with less white and black lines, granting the robot less ability to “do line follow or use its color sensors to detect specific colors since the board is full of all colors.”
The Robo Dweebs, joined by the new rookie team, Agate Prime, will be competing at Hermantown Middle and High School on December 9th from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and other regional teams will be competing from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. that same day. The awards ceremony will be virtual on www.twitch.tv/ high-tech kids. The Robo Dweebs’ Facebook page will share behind-the-scenes of the team and the competition. Other community impact and outreach events are in the works, and more mentors, coaches, and sponsors are always needed. This is Robo Dweebs’ first year of having two competitive teams, and there is a current waiting list of five students.
The robotics season begins in June with off-season camps and activities, and the competitive season begins the last week of July. Those interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or competing are encouraged to contact Head Coach Jenna Udenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team member Michael Erickson said of the event, “It was fun having the opportunity to teach the kids, and I learned a lot too.”
Another team member, Finn T., commented, “It was fun to share with the younger kids about robotics. I remember when I was younger and how the Robo Dweebs got me excited about robotics.”