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Lake and Park Attends Lego League Exposition at Museum of Flight by Kristina Johnson

From teamwork to technology, from brainstorming to building, the students certainly learned a lot. Feel free to ask any one of our participants what a solar flare is.

Our Lego League children attended a gathering of Junior Lego League students at the Museum of Flight on March 9, 2014.  Students from over thirty schools were in attendance.  Each received a medal in recognition of her/his involvement and hard work.

Junior First Lego League is an educational program created to build an interest in science and engineering in children ages six through nine. (There is another program for older children.)   It offers a “hands on” program designed to capture young children’s inherent curiosity and direct it towards discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them.  The theme this academic year was “Disaster Blaster”.  Over 22,000 children nationally learned about disasters; in response to their research, each team collectively came up with a model of a device that would help aid humans facing a crisis.

Throughout the Lego League meetings at the Lake and Park School, we worked to maintain an environment of learning and creating – just like engineers in the field.   As children engaged with a real life problem, they were told to first research, and then build a model in response to a chosen disaster.

The natural disaster that piqued our interest was Solar Flares. After several weeks of research, the students were able to wrap their heads around the concept of a solar flare. The team decided to make a model of the sun, and, in order to offer perspective, also one of the earth.  One session was devoted to sorting through the Legos for one day just to find all of the tiniest red, yellow, blue and green pieces we had. The students began building the sun, then placing it on the standard grey Lego mat that is a requirement set by the First Lego League administrators.

It took teamwork as well as critical thinking to be as successful as we were. Parents Roger Capestany and Stephanie Wieland worked together to offer a focus for each session, Thanks to their involvement as well as support from all the Lego league member’s families: numerous amounts of play dates and carpooling made this after school activity possible.

The children made pictures of their plans to build a solar flare and of the completed structure.  They wrote in response to questions asked of them regarding their knowledge of the subject.

With participants from the Downstairs to the Big Room, we had a broad range of children enjoying their late Wednesday afternoons with Lego League from November through March.

Kristina Johnson

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