The First Lego League has kicked off at Penn State Behrend with students racing against the clock in this fast, fun, and educational competition.

Here is more on the event and how it will leave a lasting mark on students.

The ambitious students took part in the first Lego League on January 15th. These students had one goal in mind while racing against the clock, winning.

We spoke with the organizers to hear how the first Lego League will impact the children beyond winning.

Thirty teams composed of fourth to eighth grade students packed the Junker Center and competed in the 11th annual First Lego League to showcase their skills and ingenuity.

The teams addressed global challenges by focusing on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.

“They have been designing a robot that’s going to do certain challenges. It’s part of this competition. They also have to do a research project on the topic so this year’s topic is cargo connect. So it’s all about moving materials and supplies where they need to get to go which really makes sense for this time of year right now with what’s going on,” said Melanie Ford, Director of Youth Educational Outreach at Penn State Behrend.

Preparation for the students began back in he fall so they could successfully compete in the league.

“In August they learn about what the challenge is so they’ve had whenever their clubs got together and start today to do the challenge, and as I said they have to do a research project. They have to design the robot, they get to code the robot,” said Ford.

The students take into consideration the different aspects that play a role in the competition and find it beneficial.

“Learning teamwork skills is definitely a part of it, and learning to code better and more efficiently is another part. It’s helped a lot through school, through assignments, and but also is just fun to do at home if you’re bored,” said Maggie Coleman, Competitor for J.S. Wilson Fire Breathing Robot Duckies.

The students here are learning life long skills that will benefit them into the future.

“They learned how to program, how the mechanical, how to put things together, how to design them. Then here’s the project research part right. They actually learn how to do some research. How do we, what is our problem? How are we going to solve it? What’s a better way to solve it? So they’re thinking outside the box,” said Ford.

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The First Lego League event will also be an asset that will stand out on college applications in the future for the students.