First North Country Lego League Event Held at WMCC

Teams from Edward Fenn Elementary (Gorham), Milan Village School, and Hillside Elementary School (Berlin) assembled at White Mountains Community College on April 28, 2016 for the first annual North Country Lego League Challenge.  Students ranged from grades 3 to 6. The schools partnered with WMCC in coordinating the event under the leadership of John Holt of WMCC, Gerri St. Gelais of Milan Village School, and Jen Corrigan of Gorham Middle High School.  

Teams were able to select a challenge from a menu of options and prepared their robots in advance of the event. After one run, teams were able to make quick adjustments and put their creations to the test for a second trial.  John Holt and White Mountain Science Inc.’s Executive Director, Bill Church, served as the judges. Awards given included first and second place for highest score, as well as “super mission solver”,  team sportsmanship, and team spirit.

Following the challenge tasks, Bill Church demonstrated a couple sophisticated LEGO robots. One was a prototype built by a student during a week-long summer camp that utilized a variety of sensors to simulate a sensing-cane to aide a visually impaired person. The other was a robot based on the Strand Beest.   Bill also spoke to the students about their potential for professional careers in the STEM fields.

Instrumental in the development of the North Country Lego League was the donation of LEGO EV3 Mindstorm Kits by BAE Systems.  Schools that had participated in the two-day North Country STEMfest sponsored by the University of New Hampshire College of Engineering and Physical Science in the fall received the kits. As an extra-curricular program, teacher and staff volunteers were also essential to the success of the event. Each school had at least one teacher serving as a STEM Resource Partner in North Country Education Services’ Transforming STEM Instruction in North Country Classrooms Project.