Houston Girl Scouts and First LEGO League Robotics Competition

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Houston organizes several teams of girls to compete in the First LEGO League robotics competition in January. There is much more to Girl Scouts than cookies and camp outs.

Guess what!?  I am one of the coaches (I know, I am surprised too).  My daughter loves computers and LEGOS so why not get her involved with a group of girls who have the same interests.

Since science and technology are not one of my strongest skills, I am using a book entitled “First Lego League the unofficial guide” written by two young science wizards named James Floyd Kelly and Jonathan Daudelin as a tutorial guide.

Although the book is very helpful especially when it comes to  team formation and organizing the league, I do wish they could have dumbed the robotic construction detail down a little more for people who want to learn about the gears but in tiny baby steps.  Also,  they could have added a few more pictures.  Overall the book is helpful and I will continue to keep you updated on how I am using the book in preparation for the competition.

As the coach, I am learning all of these new robotic programming skills about 48 hours before the girls learn the skills themselves.  I wish that this program was in every elementary school in the United States.  Kids need to learn about science and technology in an environment that encourages creativity not rote memorization.

My smart team of Girl Scouts will not only compete in an robotic programming tournament but they are also responsible for preparing a report that proposes solutions to the climate change problem that currently exists in Houston.  The girls are learning about science in a fun creative way without the restrictions of a classroom environment where students are punished for making a mistake.  The team learns from their mistakes and turns them into opportunities to teach themselves what to do better as a team.

My son is only 6 years old but he has tagged along to the team meetings and seems to have the talent of robotic programming.  The FLL has a competition for 6-9 year-olds too.    If you are a parent who is interested in having their 6-9 year old compete in the Junior FLL, please leave a comment and we will form a team.  There are many schools and home schooled kids who train all Fall for the competition in the Winter.

The robot/software/kit can be purchased at any time for kids or adults (my husband loves to experiment with the gears). The robot and the software called “LEGO Mindstorms” can be purchased at the Baybrook Mall LEGO store or you could order the set on line at LEGO.Com.   Here is the website link:  http://mindstorms.lego.com.

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council will also be forming a Robotics interest group in the next few weeks.   If you have a daughter who loves or even dislikes science and math, this is the perfect opportunity for her to learn plus have fun at the same time.

Here is the website:  http://www.gssjc.org/ or contact Julie Deeter at jdeeter@sjgs.org 713-292-0203 for more information.

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One Response

  1. We could so beat your robot

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