It's never too early to discover STEM
Since 2006, CNF has hosted a Junior FIRST LEGO team event. These events are held in January in Duffield Hall and are open to teams from across upstate New York.
FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®.
Guided by adult coaches, teams (up to 6 members, grades K-3) explore a real-world scientific problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. Then they create a Show Me poster that illustrates their journey of discovery and introduces their team. They also construct a motorized model of what they learned using LEGO elements.
In the process, teams learn about teamwork, the wonders of science and technology, and the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values, which include respect, sharing, and critical thinking.
At the close of each season, teams come together at Expos to strut their stuff, share ideas, celebrate, and have fun!
Below is video from Cornell's 2014 Junior FIRST LEGO League Expo (courtesy of Cornell Chronicle) held Jan. 25 in Duffield Hall. 24 teams from the Ithaca, NY area presented "Disaster Blaster"-themed Lego models of their ideas to improve natural disaster preparation, safety and recovery.
General Information about FIRST
FIRST is a nonprofit organization that has developed the FLL and Jr.FLL challenges for other organizations (like Cornell University) to run. The Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF) at Cornell University operates independently from the FIRST organization, but runs the Expo following the framework developed by FIRST. More information about the FIRST organization and the competitions they organize at the elementary, middle, and high school levels can be found at the FIRST web site.