Thousands of brightly colored, molded plastic pieces brightened the Holy Trinity gymnasium when Holy Trinity School hosted its annual Junior Lego Robotics Exposition.
Since the beginning of the year nine teams met once a week before school to conceptualize, design and build a table top Lego creation that encompassed the theme Waste Wise. Last month teams came together to discuss their Lego creations with family, friends and a panel of judges composed of school administrators and teachers.
With team names such as Recycling Ninjas, Trash Troopers and Recycling Rebellion, the children (ages 6 to 9) happily talked about their various designs.
One team designed a Lego recycling center that was “off the grid,” complete with a solar power pulley to move trash through the system. Another team went into the future, designing a flying Lego jet spacecraft to fly trash to the recycling center.
Holy Trinity School’s first- through third-graders participate in the Jr. Robotics Program. The school purchases base kits from National FIRST Jr. Lego League and Holy Trinity’s first-grade teacher Cheryl Tallia coordinates the program.
Parent volunteers head the teams and guide the children in exploring the theme of trash. The members of each team collaborate on ways to show how trash can be reused and recycled. Each team then builds a tabletop Lego model with one motorized part to illustrate the final idea. The children also work on a poster board that further illustrates the concept behind the Lego model.
“The benefits of Jr. Robotics are numerous,” said Tallia. “The students develop excellent problem solving, critical thinking and technical skills while developing an inner confidence and team building abilities.”