On Friday, February 28, six fourth and fifth graders will gather to hear that they will be traveling to California for the FIRST® LEGO® League North American Championship, May 15-17, 2020. Here’s the catch – none of them know the news. The kids think they are there to make a video about how important S.T.E.M. is and to talk about what they do in FIRST® LEGO® League. They will be prepared to talk about their project, core values and robot, as well as their experience in the program.

Once they are surprised, the students will be raising funds for their trip to compete in California.  Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation has graciously agreed to gather contributions at https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cstp104f40.  100% of all donations will go toward travel for the team.

The Eagles Economy team’s initial goal was to work hard, do their best and become better friends. By not only taking the lead on the project (creating three presentations, identifying a problem within a city, designing an innovative solution to the problem, and answering questions from the judges), creating a robot (learning to program and design their LEGO® MINDSTORMS Robot using only LEGO® pieces to compete “missions”), and utilizing their understanding of the FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values, they exceeded their goals.

Guided by adult coaches, FIRST® LEGO® League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. This year, the problem had to relate to the CITY SHAPER theme. The students identified the problem that temperature sensors for food pantries can be expensive but are critical to maintaining food quality. The students developed a low-cost temperature sensor that can alert the food pantry of temperature changes.  Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic S.T.E.M. applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges.