This blog was written with the help of team coach Dominique Flores-Wong.

Team #12423, the LEGO Lions from Kissimmee, FL, USA, celebrated their kickoff of the MISSION MOON season by visiting the Kennedy Space Center. Coach Dominique Flores-Wong said attending their local FIRST® kickoff was an out-of-this-world experience for the team and a fantastic beginning as they began week two of the Challenge.


The LEGO Lions team is made up of six students from Osceola Science Charter School in Kissimmee, Florida, USA: Julien Wong, Ameer Eddaqqaq, Aiden Nunez, Jesus Llanos, Sebastian Urena and Sebastian Zulueta — all third-graders and friends!

“While at the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center,” Flores-Wong shared, “we learned all about FIRST® LEGO® League Jr., and although this is our third season, we always learn something new.”

“Our favorite part was getting to meet and chat with NASA Chemical Engineer, Dr. Annie Caraccio Meier. She told us all about the Mars Simulation mission she took part in atop a volcano in Hawaii. She and her team were isolated from the rest of ‘the world,’ as if they really were on Mars. Meier had a huge and very important task of fixing the broken toilet in the base.”

The team with Dr. Annie Meier

“She told us how she is using human waste and trash to create energy while in space. She showed us pictures from her Mars Simulation and all the science experiments she is conducting to turn ‘trash into gas!’ This was super informative, and we used it as research for our own Moon Base in this season’s MISSION MOON.” (Follow Annie Meier on Twitter.)

“After the FIRST event, we were able to freely explore the entire Kennedy Space Center visitor complex, which was mind blowing! We saw the real Atlantis Shuttle, got to experience what a lift-off feels like, and learned so much about the many NASA missions and astronauts.”

The team at Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral in Florida.

“We took so many pictures and asked so many questions, preparing ourselves for our upcoming MISSION MOON season. We met tons of teams from all over the state of Florida and the whole event was so much fun!”

“We are super excited for this season’s Challenge, as we all love space exploration. The season is one of our favorites so far! We have officially started working on our model and our Show Me poster, and we can’t wait to go to showcases and demos. In past seasons, we showcased at LEGOLand in Florida, the Orlando Science Center, the University of Central Florida, and many other cool places in our community.”

“We are keeping fingers crossed that we can get invited to the World Festival Expo at the FIRST Championship in Houston next April; that is our goal. At the expos, teams from all over the world meet, share ideas, and have fun. Even if we don’t get to go, we always have tons of fun and learn so much. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is the best!”

This is the last year the team will participate in FIRST LEGO League Jr., because next year they are moving up to FIRST® LEGO® League. Learn more about the other FIRST Programs.

What was your favorite team activity this season? Let us know @firstlegoleague. Or email