Arts & Culture News

Kids Make LEGO Robots, Solve the World's Problems

LEGOs can be built, smashed and reconfigured in an unlimited amount of ways. Their creative potential is infinite, much like a child's imagination. When the two pair up on Saturday for the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition just imagine what they'll achieve. The students were given a goal: identify problems in the food supply chain and fix them with a LEGO robot.

The problem could be any number of things: gathering produce with a shovel attachment and then delivering the produce to the deposit site with the tiniest amount of food lost or damaged. Perhaps it's a flaw in the sterilization link in a production line that's causing contamination and needs to be fixed. Whatever the dilemmas might be, these children ages 9 to 14 have spent their spare moments solving them, adorably, with hand-crafted LEGO robots.

Can we all just hold hands for a moment and have a little Kumbaya time? Maybe that inner optimist I buried under sedimentary layers of press releases and breakfast taco foil is still stirring after all, because when kids do stuff, it's awesome. When they do stuff with LEGOs and robots that target the regions of their minds that address large-scale problems -- not first-world "how can I go to work when my shower water is so warm?" problems, but global food crisis problems -- it makes my cyborg eye well up and shed an oily tear.

Let's rally this Saturday. Let's wake up early and go support these nerds of today, industry leaders of tomorrow at The Hockaday School (11600 Welch Road) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. as they show off the amazing, motorized creations they've constructed out of LEGOs, get generally stoked about science and vie for a spot at the National championships is St. Louis, MO. It's completely free to be a cheerleader.

For all of the little geeks out there here's a giant statue of Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, constructed entirely out of LEGOs by artist and uber-dork Nathan Sawaya.

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Jamie Laughlin
Contact: Jamie Laughlin