I’m exhausted. I don’t want to touch another Lego piece for a good few months – but I will definitely coach a First Lego League Team again next year. Looking back on the experience, which was a whirlwind of a few months, I take away a two key points which will stay with me for a while:
1) If you give kids the opportunity and forum, they can surprise with their creativity and ingenuity. The First Lego League competition challenges kids on many different levels; core values, technical details, team work, and commitment. Our team did not advance on to the Regional Championships, but every student walked away with a feeling of accomplishment. I was shocked at what six eager 4th and 5th graders can do.
2) Watching students struggle and fail can be heartbreaking, but in the end, it teaches them resilience. Working with a team for so long and so often is bound to lead to some frustration, disagreement, and tears. I saw the full gambit of emotion from these students – exhaustion, doubt, fear, joy, elation, and disappointment. These are valuable emotions for kids to experience, and what better way to experience them as a team with support.