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First Lego League 2008 - Climate Connections

Climate Connections

On November 8, 2008 15 teams met at ODU's Webb Center to compete in the Regional First Lego League Tournament. The regional tournament was run this year by ODU's Engineering Department. Bonita Anthony and Julia Kurtz from the department were the coordinators of the competition with the support of ODU students, teachers, and other volunteers from the community.

This year's tournament was called the Climate Connection, focusing on the exploration of the earth’s climate. Read on for a description of what types of questions the students were challenged with.

Discover the links between science, people, resources and communities.  Unearth how we learn about past climates and delve into questions surrounding our current and future climatic conditions.  The FIRST LEGO League teams created a global game plan as they made these Climate Connections!

This challenge was designed to get the kids to:

  • Participate intelligently in discussions surrounding the climate
  • Unite people and resources in a common direction
  • Decide a course of action

What is the First Lego League?

Not sure what the First Lego League is? Check out the First Lego League National site, or the Virginia/DC site. Wikipedia has done a nice job keeping track of the competition. Click here for wikipedia's definition of the First Lego League, or read on.

Inspiring curiosity and creating excitement among 9-14 year olds in science and technology is the goal of FIRST LEGO League™ (FLL). Developed by FIRST™ (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit organization, through a partnership with the LEGO Group, FLL presents an interactive program that captivates kids’ interest in science and technology as they master the dynamics of teamwork and problem solving. FLL is a nationally organized robotics competition for teams of kids led by adult coaches. Each team of 6-10 students designs, constructs and programs a LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ robot to perform tasks posed by FLL in an international challenge. Teams
demonstrate their robot’s ability to perform the challenge in head-to-head competition at statewide tournaments.

The Challenge:
The Challenge is the annual game revealed to FLL teams each September during our online kick off. Teams must determine a strategy to accomplish various Challenge missions and accumulate points. In addition, the Challenge theme and related Research Project requires teams to investigate current issues facing our modern world. This combined process brings the reality of science and technology to children on a more intimate, hands-on level.

Tournaments - the Excitement of Sports, the Power of Science:
Teams compete at one-day local and state tournaments where they are recognized for excellence in research, design, teamwork, problem solving, creativity, and sportsmanship. FLL promotes numerous solutions in a competitive, yet friendly environment, as kids discover the rewards of science and technology. Teams are judged and awards are given in multiple categories, including Performance, Research and Presentation, Robust Design, Innovative Design, and Creativity awards.

First Lego League 2008 Awards

Click here for a printable version of the 2008 Winners


The FLL Ribbon

Coaches, mentors, and kids dedicate at least eight weeks, fifty hours or more, to embracing science and technology as accessible, fun, and rewarding. This dedicated experience makes a difference in communities, schools, families, and individuals. Team members learn and share, astounding those around them with new information, distinct ideas, and revelations as to how they can contribute to the world.

As FLL veterans, team members can intelligently and enthusiastically discuss concepts that many other people find difficult and intimidating. They also know how to share and develop ideas as part of a small, hardworking, closely knit team. The process that got them to this point defines each one of them as an FLL champion and winner, and this ribbon recognizes and celebrates this achievement.

Project Presentation Award

The purpose of the FLL project presentation is to show that individuals can make a difference by researching a problem, then contributing ideas and solutions to real-world issues. The Project Awards are presented to the teams whose quality research, innovative solutions and creative presentation best reflect an in-depth understanding of the various scientific disciplines and issues involved with the Challenge Project.

1st Place, Division I: 1912_______ WB Climateers

1st Place, Division II: 5946_______ Ruffner Bulldogs

Robot Design Award

Judges look for teams whose work stands out for its innovation, dependability, or both. To assess innovation, the judges watch the robots work, looking for things that make them say "Wow!" and they interview team members to reveal the less obvious unique and inventive ideas. To assess dependability, the judges interview the teams to learn what solid principles and best practices were used to reduce variability and errors, then consider the most consistent teams from among those that ranked highly.
1st Place, Division I: 1026_______ T.H.R.I.P.s (SP Morton Mustangs)

1st Place, Division II: 6040_______ Legoneers

Robot Performance Award

This award is presented to the team(s) whose robot achieved the best score on the competition field.

1st Place, Division I:170 Greenbrier Responsible Investigators, Inc

1st Place, Division II: 3022_______ 4H LEAD Huskies

Teamwork Award

Teamwork is necessary to succeed in FIRST LEGO League and is the key ingredient in any team. This award is presented to the team whose members best demonstrate extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit, exceptional partnership, the utmost respect for their own teammates, and in their support and encouragement of fellow teams. They demonstrated confidence, energy, strong problem solving skills, and group dynamics.

1st Place, Division I: 2819_______ Category 10

1st Place, Division II: 4870_______ IWA Lego Robotics Team

Outstanding Volunteer Award

The phenomenal success of the FIRST LEGO League program is a reflection of the commitment and enthusiasm our volunteers display. This annual award gives FIRST and FIRST LEGO League the opportunity to honor the dedication of one or more volunteers in each region whose assistance and devotion has helped to change the lives of children for the future.

Winner: This was not awarded this year.

Judges’ Award

Many high quality teams do not exactly fit the mold for an existing award, but nonetheless deserve one. Some teams have a story that profoundly sets them apart in a unique way. Sometimes a given award is just too close to call. This award gives the judges the freedom to recognize the most remarkable team for which a standard award does not exist.

1st Place, Division II: This was not awarded this year.


Overall Champion’s Award

To be considered for the Champion's Award, teams must perform well in the equally weighted technical and team presentation categories. The FLL experience is more than building robots or attending competitions. It begins with the robot, but most importantly, it is defined by how the children unite to form a team. The program impacts each of them as individuals and as team members.

The Champion’s Award is the most prestigious award that any team can win. The Champion’s Award celebrates the ultimate success of the FIRST mission and FLL Values. It measures how the children inspire and motivate others about the accessibility, excitement, and wonders of science, technology, and engineering while demonstrating respect, encouragement, and continued gracious professionalism. The winning team receives the honor of serving as a valued role model for FIRST and the FIRST LEGO League Program.

1st Place, Division I: 170 Greenbrier Responsible Investigators, Inc

1st Place, Division II:3022_______ 4H LEAD Huskies
2nd Place, Division II: 4727_______ Dynamic Dolphins


Team Spirit

7298_______ The Do It Yourselfers


Teams Qualifying for the Championship Tournament, Saturday, December 6-7, 2008, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

DIVISION 1 – 2 teams
Tm # 170_________ Team Name Greenbrier Responsible Investigators, Inc
Tm # 2819________ Team Name Category 10

Division 2 – 2 teams
Tm # 3022________ Team Name 4H LEAD Huskies
Tm # 4727________ Team Name Dynamic Dolphins


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Comments, Corrections, Educational Technology Stories and resources to share can be sent to

For more information on the First Lego League, send a message to
Andrew and Brittany Rose vafll@COMCAST.NET

To learn more about this year's challenge, The Climate Connections, click here.

First Lego League

Virginia/DC First Lego League website

Click here to view all of the photos from the Nov 10, 2007 Tournament @ ODU Webb Center in Norfolk, Virginia