Saratoga’s Lego Team has advanced to the semifinals of the DYCD Youth Leggo my LEGO competition. The competition is a partnership between the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) and FIRST LEGO League, an international hands-on robotics initiative. Saratoga Afterschool forms a part of DYCD’s COMPASS NYC service, a network of more than 900 no-cost high quality K-12 programs.
The DYCD COMPASS Leggo My Lego League Qualifier saw COMPASS program sites, including Saratoga Afterschool, working to prove their STEM skills through a robotics competition. Competing under the name “Legends of the World,” Saratoga’s Lego Team worked together to design their own robot and complete a research project and lego construction for a vertical farm with a rooftop vegetarian restaurant.
To prepare for their competition, students researched the benefits of vertical farming in urban areas and took a field trip to Farm.One, a Manhattan-based urban vertical farm. Once they completed their Lego prototype, the team shared their project with other students at Saratoga, including children enrolled at Saratoga Early Childhood Education Center.
The vertical farm was a part of the competition’s City Shaper project, asking students to identify problems and design solutions for a better future. The second component of the qualifier saw teams participating in a Robot Game, building and programming their own robots using LEGO technology to complete a series of missions.
Saratoga’s Lego Team also displayed their embodiment of FIRST LEGO League’s Core Values—Discover, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork, and Fun—through two poster boards presenting their team and detailing their preparation for the competition.
“Sometimes we needed all hands on deck to figure out how to build one mission,” the Lego Team said in their description of Teamwork, noting that building strong relationships between team members was a key to their success. “When we broke into groups we mixed and matched an realized we were all good friends.”
They also highlighted their team’s commitment to Inclusion, citing their open-mindedness and receptiveness to new ideas from their teammates.
At the Leggo My Lego League Qualifier, the Lego Team’s commitment, research, and teamwork paid off. Not only did they receive a silver ticket to the next round of the competition—a city-wide semifinal competition—but they also received the Inspiration Award from the judges, recognizing the students’ special dedication to their Team.