This past Saturday, with the help of over 50 enthusiastic volunteers, the Y hosted the 2018 First Lego League Baltimore City Robotics Qualifying Tournament at Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School, a Y Before and After School and Community School site in Baltimore’s east side. First Lego League is an international competition for elementary and middle school students. Each year First Lego League introduces a scientific and real-world challenge for student teams to focus on and research. The competition involves designing and programming Lego Mindstorms robots to complete tasks. The students work out solutions to the problems they are presented and then meet for regional tournaments to share their knowledge, compare ideas, and display their robots.
This year’s theme was “Hydro Dynamics” (exploring the storage, use and movement of water).
One hundred and sixty youth, representing twenty schools (including five Y teams!), were judged on exhibiting the Y’s core values, robot design, and their overall project.
Thank you to all who supported this wonderful event (known as “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”), including our excellent volunteers with judges from Northrup Grumman and the Y. A special shout-out goes to UMBC, First Lego League’s operational partner, and to Zeke’s Coffee and Giant Food for keeping volunteers energized with coffee and healthy snacks.
The Y’s commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is longstanding and borne of our view that closing the achievement gap for young people in low-income parts of our community is one of the most critically important things we can do to lift their prospects for a better, more economically viable future. First Lego League is a prime opportunity to sharpen critical thinking skills, reinforce the need for collaboration and teamwork to achieve success, and to demonstrate the practical value of a strong science and math foundation. Although the Y teams did not qualify for the state championship event, all these students are already winners! I imagine the judges from Northrup Grumman were looking over their shoulders, seeing the next generation of scientists, engineers, project managers and programmers.
Make room at the top because here they come!
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland