Team places first in world LEGO meet
Brick by brick, four Dingeman Elementary School students found success at the FIRST LEGO League Jr. World Competition held April 25-27 in Houston, Texas.
Lead by coach Shreya Goel, an eighth-grade student at Marshall Middle School, second grade students Siddharth Goel, Joshua Pun, Adam Couvrette and Aarnav Jain created the team Builder Beavers and placed first in the Creative Model Award.
Goel said the team qualified for the world competition at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League Jr. Regional Expo hosted locally at LEGOLand Resort. While the local competition was not ranked, the team was invited to bring its model and compete at the world competition in Houston.
The 2019 challenge this year was titled “Mission Moon.” Organizers challenged the students to think of a solution to the question: “How would you build a base on the moon to sustain human life?” They then had to build their solution out of LEGOs.
“I started by assigning each team member a different problem: how to get water, how to get food, how to get energy and health. They all did their research and brought it back to the team. One team member found a solution for bringing energy to the moon through fuel cells,” Goel said.
Goel explained that through their research, the team was able to create what they called the Lunar Resource Generator. She helped the members direct their solution into building a model out of LEGOs for the competition. The model also included two motorized models that Goel taught the members how to program. The final piece of the competition was preparing the members for the presentation of their ideas.
“I was surprised just to make it to worlds and, while our ultimate goal was to make it to the top of the competition, it was huge just to participate. It was a great experience just to meet people from all over the world,” Goel said.
Their remarkable model was among 60 other participating teams from all over the world. Nidhi Goel, parent mentor and Shreya’s mother, said team members expanded their knowledge exponentially through the entire experience.
“LEGO is STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math). But, it is also about presenting your ideas and doing the research part of it and problem solving. I have always felt that this program boosts the kids’ confidence while increasing their knowledge,” Nidhi Goel said.
Both Nidhi and Shreya Goel said they hope the Builder Beavers’ success inspires other teams to form and they would be happy to assist with the process.