ChathamSTEM Builds Momentum: Families Build Tables, Celebrate FIRST® LEGO® League Kickoff

Credits: Polly Peters

Chatham, NJ, August 30, 2014 – The Chatham High School gym was abuzz with the sound of power tools on Saturday, August 30. Chatham students and families gathered to build tournament tables and kick off the 2014 FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Challenge.

Participation is up 30 per cent this year. The Chatham schools have 12 FLL teams this year, up from three teams in 2013. Overall, Chatham will be represented by around 100 boys and girls, grades 4-8 and ages 9-14, years.

The 8’x4’ wood tables are an important part of the FLL tournaments, which begin in November 2014. This year’s theme is “FLL World Class℠”. Student teams from  over 70 countries research and present their own creative solutions to one of today’s most relevant topics: the learning experience. Teams will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 to solve a set of missions. The cornerstones of the experience are the FLL Core Values which emphasize contributions of others, friendly competition, learning and community involvement.

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“This is an amazing opportunity for the kids and we couldn’t do it without the support of the community, schools and volunteers,” said Nabil Mouline, President of ChathamSTEM.

The ChathamSTEM FLL Kickoff was made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors, Arminio’s and Dreyer’s Lumber and Hardware. Codfish Park Design llc of Chatham designed and prepared the tables pro-bono.

The ChathamSTEM FLL program is also made possible thanks to the assistance of Lafayette School Principal, Cheryl Caggiano Russo, and Lafayette School staff as well as the continuous support of the School District of the Chathams and Board of Education.

About ChathamSTEM

ChathamSTEM was founded in 2013. It is a network of parents, professionals, students and educators whose goal is to promote excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (“STEM”) education. It is dedicated to partnering with local schools and other organizations to create and enhance STEM-oriented educational opportunities as part of students' paths towards college and career readiness, and to develop effective STEM programs and initiatives that engage students and educators. ChathamSTEM is also committed to bridging the gender gap in STEM education and sharing STEM-related opportunities with underprivileged students and communities. To learn more about ChathamSTEM, go to

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada), and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to

  • FIRST and the FIRST logo are registered trademarks of the United States Foundation For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group.

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