A select group of Saint Ambrose School students and their families had the remarkable opportunity to travel to Detroit this past weekend to join more than 15,000 students from around the world putting their innovation skills to the test at the annual FIRST Championship Presented by Qualcomm Incorporated, held at the Cobo Center and Ford Field!
The four-day event, showcasing 4 different STEM programs for ages 6-high school senior, was attended by more than 40,000 people from over 40 countries.    Team Saint Ambrose Spacecraft Angels participated in the FIRST LEGO League Jr. portion of the event was one of only 60 schools Internationally of 20,000 teams in the world represented by way of a lottery system.  Five of our  Saint Ambrose School (SAS) students in grades 1-3 represented our school in Detroit where the Championship was held for a once in a lifetime learning experience and were accompanied by our SAS FLL Jr. team coaches and faculty:  Dr. Theresa (Terri) Wajda, Mrs. Amy Morgan, and Ms. Stefanie Graber.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by inviting them to learn about a real-world problem and build LEGO-based models to demonstrate their learning. FIRST LEGO League Jr teams, guided by their imaginations, make exciting discoveries about real-world math and science, begin developing teamwork skills, practice presentation skills, and celebrate at non-competitive events. This year’s challenge, MISSION MOONSM, tasked teams to learn about human needs during long-duration space exploration within our Sun’s solar system and to design and build a Moon Base with at least one motorized element.  More information on the event can be found  on the organization’s website: www.firstchampionship.org/detroit.

Saint Ambrose students have been working since late fall on this project, which meets as a club after school hours.  First Lego League Club is in its second year at Saint Ambrose, and student interest has doubled for both First Lego League and First Lego League Jr. Clubs on campus.

Saint Ambrose Spacecraft Angels Model pictured above, which won for MOST INNOVATIVE MODEL!

The students showcased their student solutions model to answer the question”  How would students survive on the Moon.”  Mission Moon.  Students researched the Moon to determine a plan, follow the engineering design process, and focus on how to develop their solutions.  Identical Lego kits were provided to each team, and students were required to use the kits to build their solutions.  Students were required to come up with problems having to do with water, energy or air on the moon.  Explore the problem, develop the model, use programming to make the model work, and create a poster to explain their solution.  Students gained experience and had the opportunity to present to International judges, meet international students with shared interests, and have an incredible time!

I’m so proud of each and every one of the kids and coaches!  We had an absolutely amazing weekend!  I think it’s fair to say everyone made some great memories and is even more pumped up about what First Lego League has to offer our students.  Thank you so much to each and every one
of you for your support!“- Amy Morgan, Director of Technology, and program director.
My favorite part  of our was building the project, and like to be on a team with my friends and learn more about a new coding language.“- Adam O., Second Grade.
I enjoyed this experience with my friends and programming and building the model.“-Mary Kay S., Third Grade
Five categories for awards are possible.  Saint Ambrose School received the Distinguished Award for Most Innovative Model!
The Award for Most Innovative Model is currently on display in the school office, and will soon take its permanent home in the Saint Ambrose trophy case.  Congratulations to our incredible team!

Picture of students who traveled to First Lego League Detroit pictured above with their student mentors.

Olivia M-3rd Grade, Mary Kay S-3rd Grade, Michael G-First Grade, Adam O-Second Grade, and Dante S (Not Pictured) Second Grade.

Special thanks to our Saint Ambrose School First Lego League Jr. team and our 2018-2019 First Lego League Sponsors:  Rockwell Automation, General Motors, and Brownstone Realty.  Special thanks also to our FLL student mentors: Connor and Christian and our Faculty Mentors who run our after-school program:  Dr. Theresa Wajda, Mrs. Amy Morgan, and Ms. Stefanie Graber, and Mrs. Laura Cole.