Oley Valley elementary and middle school students participated in a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) championship competition hosted by Penn State Berks Campus on Saturday, January 26, 2019. A total of 56 teams representing clubs and school programs from as far away as Harrisburg shared in a spirit of cooperative competition focusing on robotics and the innovations of long-duration manned spaceflight. The students, working on two teams representing their respective schools, created and programmed a robot to resolve mission challenges and presented their research and discovery to four panels of judges during the day-long event.
This year’s challenge theme was “Into Orbit” which focused on the challenges of deep space travel and building habitats on other worlds. The competition has three parts: projects, core values and the robot game. Student teams are required to work independently to identify a problem, develop an innovative solution relative to the theme and present their findings to a panel of four judges. FLL stresses six core values: cooperation, inclusion, innovation, discovery, collaboration, and of course fun that they share in another panel review and teamwork challenge. Finally, students design, program and operate their Lego MindStorms robot to resolve missions and earn points in the Robot Game competition to end the event. The students enjoyed their first year of participation and are very excited to work with other Berks County teams for 2019’s challenge; which will be revealed in August.