Saturday, December 03, 2005

FIRST LEGO League Robotics Challlenge Judging

I just returned from a fun-filled morning at NREC where I was a programming judge for the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Challenge. In this challenge, kids (9-14 years of age) had to build robots using LEGOs and program them using a graphical programming interface. My job was to talk to each team for 10 minutes while asking them questions and scoring them based on things such as {sophistication of approach, efficiency of approach, teamwork, planning the programming task, etc}.

It made me very happy to see young kids excited about science and technology. Playing with LEGOs is very hands-on approach to engineering and I saw kids from many different age groups show off their creativity. I was also particularly impressed by the large number of girl in the challenge and the fact that many of the most outstanding programs were developed by women.

I'm pretty sure that I want to do this again next year and I might even become a part of a longer educational program during the summer.