Give a child some LEGOs, and she could build a tower, a table, or maybe the solution to one of the world’s most-pressing problems.
Patrons will soon have a chance to see what a box of LEGOs can do. Spartanburg Science Center will be bustling with brilliant youngsters and simple machines during its third annual Jr. FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Robotics Expo on Saturday, March 21. More than 30 teams of aspiring engineers ages 6-9 will showcase their basic robotic models, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Chapman Cultural Center. The children have spent months planning, building, testing, and implementing their machines that are designed to tackle a “Think Tank”-related problem.
“We brought this national program to Spartanburg a few years ago by starting our very own Spartanburg Science Center team,” Megan Rudolph, Administrative Coordinator, said. “It’s inspiring to see these kids so interested and involved in science-related concepts. Nowadays, there are so many other things these kids can be doing, but instead they’re building a better tomorrow.”
Children will put their creations to the test throughout Chapman Cultural Center’s campus and display their creativity and innovative process with “Show Me Posters.” The students will also be available to comment on their handiwork, alongside coaches, mentors, and staff. The expo ends with an awards ceremony where all teams are celebrated for their achievement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
“The public will be very impressed,” John Green, Executive Director, said. “The robots may be simple, but these kids’ collective brain power is a real marvel. Getting people excited about science at a young age is crucial to establishing a long-lasting sense of curiosity about the world. STEM is all around us. It’s in everything we do.”
Until Spartanburg’s first expo three years ago, there were no robotics teams in the area. Now, with more than two dozen teams coming from Georgia to North Carolina to participate, Spartanburg Science Center has become a leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education and LEGO® robotics.
FIRST, a national organization “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” aims to transform youth into innovators and leaders of the 21st Century. One of its programs is its LEGO® League, inspiring children of various ages to pursue their interests in real-world STEM principles. Visit USFirst.org to learn more about the various leagues, programs, and robotics communities.
The Jr. FLL Robotics Expo is part of the Center’s ongoing Super STEM Saturday program, focusing on a specific aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics on the third Saturday of each month.
The mission of Spartanburg Science Center is to provide science enrichment for students of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As Spartanburg’s only hands-on education center connecting students to STEM, the interactive exhibits provide fun, kinetic experiences for learners of every age. Third Saturday Science is just one of many programs offered by Spartanburg Science Center to help children discover and experience science in a fun way.