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September 22, 2018

Mexico Hosts First LEGO competition


Mexico Academy and Central School hosted the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League qualifying event for their first time at the Mexico middle school.

Mexico fourth grade student dances in celebration of a tournament victory at the FIRST LEGO League qualifying event.

A Mexico fourth grade student dances in celebration of a tournament victory at the FIRST LEGO League qualifying event.

The recently renovated gymnasium was packed with smiling learners, coaches and parents.

Onlookers cheered as student groups used technology, robotics and teamwork to perform tasks in a table arena.

Each competition could easily be viewed on the new gymnasium projector screens.

At that start of each challenge, audiences shouted, “3, 2, 1 LEGO!”

According to www3.usfirst.org:

“[First LEGO League] introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.”

Teams were judged on three categories: core values (discovery, integration and team spirit), robot design (durability, mechanical efficiency and mechanization) and a culminating project (research, innovative solution and presentation).

Mexico fourth grade team practices its robotics skills before the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE qualifying tournament.

Mexico fourth grade team practices its robotics skills before the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE qualifying tournament.

Mexico Academy had four fourth grade teams compete, starting practices two nights a week a few months before the event.

267,620 children participate in the qualifying tournaments worldwide.

The top 11 teams from Mexico’s competition will continue on to the championship tournament at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

School Business Administrator Alicia Koster and New Haven Elementary Principal Richard Chapman played a large role in making FIRST LEGO League a reality for Mexico.

“As a district, we recognize that providing opportunities to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills through the use of technology and robotics are skills that students need to be college and career ready at graduation,” said Koster. “My hope is that we can encourage more kids of all ages to explore opportunities with STEM.”

Crowds cheer in anticipation for the start of the FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournament hosted at Mexico Middle School.

Crowds cheer in anticipation for the start of the FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournament hosted at Mexico Middle School.

Mexico Academy hopes to host this event again in years to come and hopefully expand to other grades as student interest rises.

“As an administrative team, we are looking to expand our STEM program for next year,” stated Koster. “As educators, if we have a passion for this type of learning, hopefully that passion encourages students to get involved and learn valuable skills necessary for the globally competitive environment they will be entering at graduation.”

More than 100 students, staff and community members volunteered for FIRST LEGO League.

Mexico Academy and Central School extends a huge thank you for contributing to the event’s success.

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