SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — EmBe is teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through LEGO.
A day off of school didn’t prevent these students from using their imaginations at the FIRST LEGO League Explore Camp.
“They are learning basics of how motors work, how things move, things like that. A little bit of basic coding as well,” FIRST LEGO League Program Coordinator Jeremy Haugen said.
Program Coordinator Jeremy Haugen is a former science teacher. In this classroom, as the day progresses so do the projects.
“You just saw them building a little satellite with one wheel and a motor. A little bit later they’ll be using sensors such as a proximity sensor to set off an alarm sound and then of course if they can’t race it’s not fun so at the end of the day we’re going to build some race cars,” Haugen said.
Haugen coached his son’s team before joining EmBe.
“The kids do all the work. The hardest thing about coaching is letting them do the fun stuff that you want to do,” Haugen said.
The FIRST LEGO League is more than just assembling blocks. The program also teaches important life skills.
“Confidence, teamwork, and just the ability to work through problems is such a huge piece of growing as an individual and it’s been great to be part of helping them reach that at EmBe,” Client & Volunteer Coordinator Julia Price Lee said.
The next step in developing those skills is to join a league.
“They go through a season that is 12 to 16 or 20 weeks and through that time the growth of the skills and confidence in these kids is amazing,” Haugen said.
“They’re having so much fun as they learn about LEGOS and engineering and STEM and it’s been such a great opportunity for both girls and boys to really grow in this opportunity. It’s been so fun to watch and they’re just having a blast,” Price Lee said.
A pair of competitions are scheduled for December, while the state championship is January 22, 2022, at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls.