LIVINGSTON, NJ — As part of Youth Appreciation Week's Family Fun Festival held at the Livingston Memorial Oval on Saturday, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams Thingamabot and Flame Machinesthe co-hosted the 10th annual Livingston Robotics Club (LRC) FIRST LEGO League Junior Expo, sponsored by Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
This year, a record-high 50 teams from 22 Northern Jersey towns attended the Expo to showcase and celebrate their work. Among them, four are members of Livingston Robotics Club: Team Hope, Legonauts, RoboDominators and Super Lego Bros. The Hartshorn Elementary School in Short Hills made a big splash with with teams, and Livingston Huaxia Chinese School maintained its strong presence with four teams from its LEGO WeDo classes.
FLL Jr. is designed to encourage children ages 6 to 10 to have interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while exciting them through LEGO robotics. Guided by adult coaches and FIRST Core Values, participating students research a particular science topic, build models using LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 robotics kit and create "Show Me" posters to present what they learned.
According to the LRC, the current season's challenge, entitled "Mission Moon," requires the teams to research problems and solutions to living on the moon and build a LEGO moon base model.
While the Expo was heating up in two large tents on the Oval, Team Super Lego Bros—with members from Livingston, Short Hills and Summit—made its presentation inside a quiet study room in the nearby Livingston Public Library. Deborah Dine, head coach of the Super Lego Bros, noted that since one of the team members has a medical condition called Hyperacusis, which makes him extremely sensitivity to sound, it was not possible for the team to present in the big tent.
"People with Hyperacusis usually need to wear earplugs and headphones and experience pain or become dizzy or ill when they hear loud or vibrational noise," said Dine. "With full support from the library and accommodation from the LRC, David was able to do his part in making the presentation and running the robots for which he and his teammates had worked so hard on."
Following the presentation at the library, the team went back to the Expo tent to join the rest of the teams.
"Teammate and friend Tyler stayed out of the tent afterwards to keep him company, while Rishabh and Daniel manned the display in the tent," said Dine. "It was a fantastic and fulfilling display of the FLL Junior Core Values."
At the Expo, children showed their work to the reviewers and the public while also enjoying a variety of STEM-enrichment activities, including robotics demonstrations by teams Exit 5 Robotics and Flame Machines, as well as an interactive science show "Reach to the Moon" by Mad Science.
During an award ceremony, each team took home awards that ranged from “Inquiring Minds” to “Amazing Robot Design” to “Most Explosive” and more among.
This concludes the FLL Jr. season of the club. The next season will start again in the fall with the next challenge on future city infrastructure called "Boomtown Build."