The recipients of Northern Nevada’s first FLL Champion’s Award 

Team LEGOsaurus Rex at the Northern Nevada FLL Championship Tournament (Christopher, Thomas, Samed, Dominic, Zach, Yusuf, Angus, Haley and Coach Idil)

On January 15, 2011, the northern Nevada area hosted their first ever FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournament in Sparks. The winners of both the Champion’s Award and the Robot Performance Award was Team 5502 – LEGOsaurus Rex.

Dee Frewert, Education and Development Director of Space Science for Schools, Inc., was responsible for bringing this FIRST event to northern Nevada and was the Tournament Director. “After finding out that we only have one FRC team from northern Nevada, I decided that it was imperative that Space Science for Schools bring these STEM opportunities north.”

She worked with Nevada’s FLL Operational partner, Jean Hoppert, and Sparks High School, as host site, to run regional workshops, information meetings and scrimmages to promote FLL.

Team  LEGOsaurus Rex is made up of eight 5th graders who attend the Coral Academy of Science Elementary School in Sparks. Coach Ozlem Idil runs the school’s weekly robotics club and says that when the team learned about this year’s Body Forward topic, they started doing field trips to local hospitals and medical companies with prepared interview questions. They also invited doctors to their club to learn about topics ranging from stem cells to a cardiac patch. Ozlem is also proud that the entire team was involved in the robot building process with members working on different parts and pieces and utilizing great teamwork to put it all together in just one week!

Team member Christopher said, “I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I’m very excited to go to Nationals with my awesome teammates. I thank Ms. Idil for this great opportunity.”

Haley said that “Being a part of a FIRST LEGO League team is an honor in itself, but being a part of a champion team is even more gratifying.  This program is a very worthwhile club to be a part of and it is a very important thing to offer to kids. This program allows kids the hands on experience with building and programming they need so they can flourish as scientists.  Add in the element of competition and it is even more thrilling.  When all the hard work that was put into building the team and the robot pays off you have a great sense of accomplishment. “

And team member Dominic adds  “We had brilliant team work building… everyone has an important job. I had fun beyond imagination.”

Fun beyond imagination…. I think this team will be leaving big tracks wherever they go!

LEGOsaurus Rex will be representing northern Nevada at the US Open Championship at LEGOLAND, May 20 - 22