FIRST LEGO League
Starting in 1998, FIRST decided to venture into a new horizon in robotics competitions - the elementary and middle school level. Originally using the LEGO Mindstorms kits and now the LEGO NXT kits, the FIRST LEGO League employs a science themed-challenge and a specialized research topic to introduce students ages 9-14 to the world of science and technology. Having grown exponentially over the past eight years, the FIRST LEGO League is now in an international competition of more than 135,000 students in 45 countries.
Team 228 and the FIRST LEGO League
The FIRST LEGO League is as much a part of FIRST as actually building FRC or FTC robots. To mentor younger children - not only on how to build good LEGO robot or with assitsting them with their research project - but also teamwork, cooperation, and problem solving is the core of the FIRST organization. The FIRST LEGO League can have a significant impact on students' lives, and Team 228 is proud to support Meriden FLL teams.
Already we have created on average at least 6 annual teams in our hometown, including two at Lincoln Middle School, and two rookie teams at the science and technology Edison Magnet Middle School. There are at least two teams annually at the elementary school level as well. Every fall, students from Team 228 mentor any of the Meriden FLL Teams that seek assistence. Two of the adult mentors in Gus Robotics have also been, or currently are, FLL team coaches.
As more time goes on, FLL students are making their way into high school and onto the team. We currently have several FLL alumni on our team; in the past we have had eighth graders that were so impressed by Gus that they attended our meetings and participated in Team 228, even though they aren't even in high school yet. For most of these students, robotics is the FIRST team/club they join when they arrive in high school.
Local FLL Teams
Here is a list of all the of the schools in which Team 228 has either directly mentored or helped form FIRST LEGO League teams:
- Lincoln Middle School (Meriden, CT)
- Thomas Edison Magnet Middle School (Meriden, CT)
- Nathan Hale Elementary School (Meriden, CT)
- Moran Middle School (Wallinford, CT)
With the help of student and adult mentors from Gus Robotics, the two new rookie teams (in 2004) from Thomas Edison Middle School both did well in competition, with one of the teams winning an award for their research project. Both teams showed high interest in FIRST Lego League, with nearly all members wanting to start a Lego club in the spring because they couldn't wait for the next FLL Challenge.
Gus Robotics Team 228 was founded in 1999 to bring the excitement and inspiration of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) to students from Meriden, CT. Since then, our program has grown into a nationally-recognized robotics team for students from five different high schools in Meriden and Wallingford, CT.
Through our involvement in FRC and VRC, we introduce and inspire students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Mentors from a wide variety of fields including teaching, engineering (mechanical, electrical, robotics), computer science, machinists, technicians, business executives and more, teach students relevant real-world experience and applications.
We've also built strong relationships with our local school district, businesses and organizations to help provide our students the best possible experience; these sponsors are crucial to our long-term success.
Recent graduates from our program have won over quarter million dollars in scholarships, and have gone onto a variety of careers in STEM fields.