First LEGO League Team Vitamin Z (#7009) is based in Lake Oswego, OR and is made up of seven 4th and 5th graders from the Lake Oswego School District. Two of the team members participated on an FLL team last year and the remaining 5 members are rookies to the competition. The team has been meeting since early August to discuss their team research project and to learn and practice programming their robots.
This year’s theme is Nature’s Fury, which is focused on the challenges faced with natural disasters. As part of their early research, in August the team took several field trips to learn about Earthquake Subduction Zones (Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries) , Emergency Management in Portland , and Structural Testing in Earthquakes (PSU infrastructure Testing and Applied Research Lab). Vitamin Z is hard at work getting ready to participate in a Qualifying Tournament in early December and will continue through to their tournament date.
Keys to Success for Working in Teams
One of the biggest challenges of LEGO Robotics is the fact that kids have to learn how to work together as a team. This is also precisely the most important skill that participants say they takeaway from being on a robotics team – learning how to be a team player. The Vitamin Z team has been struggling with how to work together effectively and came up with a set of Team Rules that are visible at every team meeting. They were inspired by 6 simple everyday items and the entire team agreed on each and every rule. I have to admit I was impressed with what they came up with and can honestly say that these rules could be applied to teams in other situations as well. I look forward to see how these kiddos grow into an effective and cohesive team, this season.