Only in its third annual season, the Region 2000 Jr. FIRST LEGO League Expo was a huge success! Held last Saturday, April 28th, the event has grown to include 251 youth team members and coaches. 16 different organizations participated representing local elementary schools, clubs, and homeschool groups.
Many Jr. FLL Teams began meeting in February to prepare a display board and LEGO model to present a solution to the real world problem related to food safety. Teams took a variety of approaches at solving the “Snack Attack” theme by building projects that solved issues such as keeping food frozen, building safe handling food processing facilities, and keeping farm to table foods free of contamination.
First year coach Kristine Lloyd with Bedford Hills Elementary quoted about her Jr. FLL experience,
“I had a wonderful experience coaching Jr. FIRST. The Jr. FIRST program challenges the students to higher level thinking by presenting them with a real world challenge. Through the process, it was fascinating to watch each student recognize and explore their own individual and unique strengths and then use these qualities to problem solve and work collaboratively as a team. On top of everything, it was just fun!”
The Future Focus Foundation, the education foundation of the Region 2000 Technology Council with the support of local sponsors including AREVA, the Lynchburg Retail Merchants Foundation, and the Region 2000 Technology Council, hosted the Region 2000 Jr. FLL Expo. Additional contributors and partners included Central Virginia Community College, Texas Roadhouse, Bedford Cooperative Extension, and Sweet Frog.
This event could not be possible without the help of almost 30 volunteers who represented organizations and industry such as AREVA, Lynchburg City Schools, B&W, Bedford County Library, Campbell County Schools, the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research, Liberty University, and Sweet Briar College.
For more information related to the Jr. FIRST LEGO League program visit the Future Focus Foundation Website at www.futurefocusfoundation.us. Photos of the event will be available on the newly organized Region 2000 STEM Network. All regional educators, students, parents, and industry personnel interested in STEM education are encouraged to join the network at www.region2000stemnetwork.com.