MOUNT OLIVE, NJ - On Sunday, November 20, Peck's FIRST Lego League (FFL) team participated in the Qualifying Event at Mount Olive High School in Mt. Olive, NJ.
FIRST is an acronym meaning For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The event has three components: a project, core values and robot programming and design.

Students are given the challenge at the start of the school year and have between six to eight weeks to complete all aspects. At the event, students are required to have researched and come up with a real-world solution to a real-world problem, to show how well they work together as a team, respecting the core values of FLL, and to be able to talk about how they built and programmed the robots that they raced.

Ten students took the three robots they had built to race against students from 11 other teams. Only 12 percent of the 310 teams from Northern New Jersey will advance to the regional competition. The team scored high marks on their core values and presentation, however, faced some challenges when racing their robots. They are eagerly gearing up for next year's challenge.

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Peck students chose the growing scarcity of Monarch butterflies for their real-world problem. In addition to participating in this competition to raise awareness, they have also sent emails to governors in Nebraska, California, New Mexico, Georgia, Florida, and Arizona. They also reached out to the Mayor of New York City. These areas have interstate highways that are along the Monarch butterflies’ flight path. Peck students involved in the project have asked these government officials to consider planting milkweed on the sides of roadways as a way to help support Monarch butterflies.