Hundreds of elementary students from Prince William and Manassas schools, along with crowds of spectators, were on hand at the eighth annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Fun Day on Saturday, May 12 at Osbourn Park High School.
The event is a combination game challenge, skills-building and training session, and celebration for a successful season of FLL. These young robotics students demonstrate their building and programming skills as their robots complete a series of missions in a 2.5-minute competitive game. The robots are built using LEGO pieces, and run on an autonomous program the students coded themselves. No remote control devices are used for this event.
The FLL Fun Day is supported by middle and high school robotics students who serve as referees and judges for these younger robotics students. They are also mentors, sharing tips and suggestions for programming and operating the LEGO robots.
“The judges were awesome,” praised Theresa Koenig, the FLL coach at Mary J. Porter Traditional School. “They took their time to explain to the students what they did that was good, and what improvements they could make.”
Bel Air Elementary coach Amanda Jewell was thrilled that she and her students were able to attend this annual event. “I really appreciated the older refs helping the students and encouraging them,” she commented. “They gave us little pointers after the matches to help tweak what we needed to in order to be more successful.”
The celebration aspects of Fun Day include group dances, a party atmosphere, and the chance to interact with other school teams. The “SWAG SWAP,” where teams exchange items with their logo and likeness, was a big hit with the students.
FLL is one of the many robotics programs currently available in Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), and one of two open to elementary school students. Nearly every PWCS elementary was represented at this year’s Fun Day.
For more information about PWCS Robotics, contact Denyse Carroll at [email protected].
By Prince William Living