This fall, eight members of the Avenues Lego Robotics League (a First Lego League, or FLL) and their families had the opportunity to attend Space Day – an all-day event hosted by the NYC Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics. FLL is a global initiative designed to get students involved in science and engineering. Our FLL team was able to meet with several inspirational speakers from SpaceX, the NYU Robotic Design Team, Launcher, the Columbia Space Initiative CUBESAT Program and NYU-Tandon Motorsports in order to gain new insights into the latest cutting-edge space technology.
Our team also participated in hands-on space-related activities including piloting the controls of a flight simulator, conducting science experiments in a Mars base simulator room, experiencing a realistic NASA mission control room and attending a planetarium show about orienting oneself within the changing night sky.
Lego League introduces real-world engineering challenges to teams of 4th–8th grade students by building autonomous Lego Mindstorms robots in order to complete a variety of tasks which simulate real-life technological challenges.
This year’s theme, “Into Orbit,” challenges students to accomplish a series of missions that simulate actual robotic work in outer space. Students will design, build, program and test their robots in order to carry out tasks such as delivering a payload to the International Space Station, moving solar panels into position, rescuing an astronaut and delivering him to safety, assisting with food production and even deflecting incoming meteoroids.
By the end of the event, FLL team members reported that their favorite highlights were the Mars base airlock and, as Wes K. said, “definitely the flight simulator – that was awesome!” Who knows? Perhaps the next cohort of NASA pilots and astronauts are right here among our very own Avenues Aviators!