More than 80 First LEGO League teams brought their robots, inventions and innovations to the First LEGO League (FLL) Championships held in Oshawa and Waterloo. “Senior Solutions”, this year’s challenge, asked teams of nine to fourteen year old builders to develop innovative ways to help senior citizens maintain their independence and quality of life, with over 80 different innovations proposed by teams to the judges at the two separate events held at UOIT in Oshawa on January 12th and at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo on January 13th.
Ideas included jewelry that could predict respiratory failure by sensing blood oxygen levels, to a shopping cart that would help seniors grab groceries off of the shelves at their local grocery store. One team went as far as to produce a fully-functioning chair that floated on a cushion of air with the intention of aiding mobility-restricted seniors to more easily traverse terrain, like the beach, that is difficult for traditional wheelchairs.
The second part of the First competition included a robotics challenge. Students designed, programmed and tested a LEGO Mindstorms robot that is charged with completing, autonomously, as many themed tasks as possible in two and a half minutes on a 4’X8’ competition table.
Finally teams were judged on “Core Values”, which includes how well teams demonstrated and understood concepts such as teamwork, gracious professionalism and sharing with the community.
“These teams continue to amaze me every year! The ingenuity and creativity of these 9-14 year olds excites me because I know that our future is in good hands,” said Dave Ellis, Director of FLL in Ontario.
“At SYNNEX, we are technologists at heart who believe in developing the next generation of IT professionals. This is why we sponsor the First and First LEGO League programs, as they are excellent ways for young students to develop their passion for and to build skills in their future career paths,” said Kevin Murai, President and Chief Executive Officer of SYNNEX Corporation, the presenting sponsor of the First LEGO League competition.
Corporate sponsors: SYNNEX Corporation, Ontario Power Generation, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Yves Landry Foundation played a key role in making these provincial events such a success.