FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in Science and Technology. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is a hands-on STEM program and each year a new and exciting challenge ignites creativity in children.
The girls in Year 4 recently undertook this season’s challenge which was called Mission Moon. Throughout the project, the girls worked in teams and embraced the FIRST Core Values (such as discovery, innovation, inclusion and fun). They chose a team name and designed their own mission patch. They also prepared for the challenge by researching the moon and exploring what kind of problems they would need to solve in order to live there.
Year 4 girls’ first major challenge was to build their LEGO rocket ship and program the craft (using the software LEGO Education WeDo 2.0) to deliver supply containers to the moon’s surface. These supplies (water, energy and air) were essential to surviving the moon’s extreme conditions. The girls were also encouraged to build creative models, using the Inspire LEGO sets, which demonstrated their thoughts and allowed for sharing of ideas within the Year Group.
Further Mission Moon sessions focused on discovering water, air and energy on the moon. In these sessions, the Year 4 girls built and programmed some helpful devices and robots that would assist them with the challenge. For example, Sweep was a mobile robot that could be used to sweep away the dust and rocks to uncover ice in the bottom of the polar craters. The Robotic Arm was an especially complicated build but once programmed it was able to pick up objects on the surface of the moon. As the mission progressed, the teams became more proficient at combining ideas from different sessions to personalise their solutions.
Ultimately, the teams had to create a ‘Moon Base’ which demonstrated how they would use water, air and energy. They also had to show how they would solve one of the problems that arises with living on the moon by building and programming a motorized robot. All of their knowledge and ideas were then brought together on a ‘Show Me’ poster. To celebrate all the hard work, the teams presented their work to a panel of reviewers who were thoroughly impressed by their achievements. After the awarding of medals to many proud pupils, Mission Moon was accomplished.
Comments from the Year 4 Teams:
The Brick Moon Investigators
We have really enjoyed Mission Moon because we worked together, built objects and had fun!
Our favourite part of Mission Moon was building and creating. We also learnt interesting facts about astronauts and space. We had so much fun!
Sensational Space Girls
Learning about the Moon, building the Moon Base with LEGO and creating the Motion Sensor were some of our favourite things about Mission Moon.