Long Island Children Apply Research and Robotics to Explore How to Improve Quality of Life for Senior Citizens during FIRST LEGO League Championship and Junior FLL Expo at Longwood High School
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Four hundred middle-school children from Long Island will compete in this year’s Championship Tournament. On February 2-3, a qualifying tournament was held at Central Islip High School in which approximately 85 teams competed for an opportunity to advance to the championship tournament. This year’s Senior Solutions Challenge calls for teams of 9- to 14-year-old children to focus on solving challenges that senior citizens face. Teams will partner with seniors, hold conversations with them about their struggles, and together create solutions as to how these problems can be improved. Upon completion, teams will come together and share the discussed solutions to their senior teammates’ problems. This activity will connect young students and the elderly together to help ensure that a stronger bond within the community is created. The FLL competition is judged in four areas: project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and teamwork, with a consideration of the FLL Core Values. The highest honor will go to the team does well in all four areas and best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program. The Championship Tournament will coincide with the Junior FIRST LEGO League’s (Jr. FLL) Expo, which will take place at the same day and location from 9 a.m. to noon. In the Junior FIRST LEGO League’s SUPER SENIORSSM Challenge, children ages 6 to 9 will learn about the challenges some seniors may have getting around, keeping in touch with friends and family or staying active and fit. They will learn about senior citizens and the changes they have experienced in their lifetime; research one change the senior experienced and find out what experts are doing to make life better or easier for seniors; and learn about simple machines as they build a model made of LEGO elements with a motorized moving part and create a team Show-Me Poster to represent their findings. Focused on building an interest in science and engineering, Junior FIRST LEGO League is a hands-on program designed to capture young children’s inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them. Just like FLL, this program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the Jr. FLL Core Values, students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review. Each yearly Challenge has two parts: the LEGO Model and the Show-Me Poster. Working in teams of two to six children and guided by at least one adult coach, teams worked to complete the Challenge. “The FIRST LEGO League and the Junior FIRST LEGO League give these young children a chance to garner an interest in science and engineering at an early age,” said Janet Anderson, Development Council Member, SBPLI. “Judging by the FLL qualifying tournaments that we had on February 2-3 in which approximately 85 teams participated, the children on Long Island have a genuine interest in science, technology and engineering.” For a list of the area schools and youth organizations with teams participating in the “Senior Solutions” Challenge, see the attached page. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Sunday, March 10. For more information, visit www.sbpli.org.