Why FIRST Lego League is Important for Girls

Why do girls ROCK at FIRST Lego League?  Because there are so many different ways they can use their strengths to shine.

One of my favorite volunteer activities is judging FIRST Lego League (FLL) competitions.  This past weekend I judged a competition where the top trophy, the Champions Award, was awarded to an all-girls team, The Care Bears.  These winning 9-12 year old girls also got a bid to compete at the state level.

What is FIRST?

When people hear about the program most think it is either about playing with Legos or that it’s focused entirely on programming robots .  The brilliance of this program is that it’s so much more.  It combines STEM with a research project and teamwork.  Each year there is a theme that reflects a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. The students are challenged to research and develop a solution. They also must design, build, and program a robot using Lego Mindstorms® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field. The teams are judged in all three areas (Teamwork/Core Values, Research/Project and Robot/Technical) .  The tendency of some teams and coaches is to focus entirely on the robotics part, but due to the way the teams are rated, they need to focus on all areas.

Why is FIRST Important for Girls?

Whether they are on an all-girls or a co-ed team, FIRST teaches girls to speak up and participate in the STEM arena.  It’s a great way to introduce them to programming and also to show them there are other ways to get involved in STEM… you can be a researcher, a problem solver, leader, valuable team member and more.  Plus they have to get up and speak in front of judges honing their public speaking skills.

The competitions are fun and social.  At the ones here in my area, there is always a DJ  and the kids dance while they are waiting for the judges to do their scoring.

Get that girl in your life involved in STEM plus so much more.  Visit the FIRST Lego League website to get started.

A big Bright Girls shout out to Gloria Gibson of Poinciana Elementary School, who organizes this incredibly successful annual competition and hosted 15+ teams!

Do you have an aspiring girlpreneur in your life?  Bright Girls is here to develop the skills she needs in a fun and engaging way.  Get our book today!   




Category: STEM

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