First Lego League at Lemm


Lauren Steagull / Legacy Media

Students at Lemm Elementary participating in FLL are assigned a problem and have to think of an innovative way to solve it using a Lego robot.

This fall, a new robotics program, called the First Lego League (FLL), was introduced at Lemm Elementary by the high school level robotics team, the Klein Bots. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is a course path offered in high school. The Lemm Elementary FLL team focuses on using Legos to construct a robot and according to senior Klein Bots member Clara Johnson, increase interest in STEM.

“We wanted to start FLL teams in our district since there weren’t any before,” Johnson said. “Also, FLL is a great way to spread interest and enthusiasm for STEM at a young age.”

Sophomore Klein Bots member James Sellstrom said that the elementary students are usually tasked by an organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) an international high school robotics competition.

“[The elementary students] identify a problem, research it and come up with an innovative way to solve it,” Sellstrom said. “Then they present and share what they learned with others. They also design, program and build an autonomous Lego robot, which is used in a game where it completes various missions.”

Students on the FLL team must also develop a presentation.

“One of the parts of FLL is to write and give a presentation,” Johnson said. “This year, the game is ‘Trash Trek,’ so teams choose a specific piece of trash and then research what is currently done with it. Then they come up with a better solution for the piece of trash that would otherwise just be thrown away. Besides the presentation, this year their Lego robot must be able to pick up pieces of ‘trash,’ (all of which are made of Legos) and put them in designated areas.”

Members of the Klein Bots mentor the members of the Lemm FLL team, including both Johnson and Sellstrom.

“Klein Bots help provide guidance and encouragement to the FLL kids,” Sellstrom said. “We are mentors to the kids, and we provide input and support on their ideas and designs.”

FLL is open to all fourth and fifth graders at Lemm who want to join. Joe Cusack, the school’s robotics club teacher, explained why Legos are the main focus of the First Lego League members.

“Legos are relatively easy to work with,” Cusack said. “And the elementary students are familiar with Legos.”

Sellstrom said that the inspiration for creating the First Lego League team was to inspire the interest of children at a young age.

“It was created so that kids could explore their future,” Sellstrom said. “And to help them see hands on what STEM is really about—solving problems.”