When we were young, we dreamt of being astronauts and firefighters, doctors and teachers. And some followed those dreams. But, most of us realized we are interested in other things or discovered hidden talents we decided to pursue and make a career of.
Kids explore their interests as early as elementary school. They interact with new classmates, join clubs where they meet like-minded people, or decide on a corresponding secondary school.
Since our goal is to shape the IT Talents of tomorrow, we want to make sure kids have a chance to discover their talents in STEM – science, engineering, technology, and mathematics – at an early age. Therefore, we partnered with the FIRST LEGO League in Serbia.
What is FIRST LEGO League?
FIRST LEGO League is a program that lets kids and teens have hands-on experience in programming by using LEGO robotics educational sets.
During the program, the young participants take part in several workshops where they learn how to research real-life problems in their home countries and how they can design realistic solutions to solve them. In the process, university professors and dedicated coaches show them how to research topics, test ideas, and come up with innovative solutions on their own.
The program is divided into two age groups:
- Children under the age of six can participate in the FIRST LEGO League Explore program. Here they learn the basics of programming and create their own motorized LEGO model. At the end of the season, all teams meet to present their results and receive prizes for team spirit, outstanding ideas, or imaginative creations.
- Students between ten and sixteen years can participate in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge program. The task is to create an autonomous robot and work on their self-selected projects together, over the course of several weeks. The teams then participate in a regional competition and present their results to judges. The competition allows them to improve their learning habits, confidence, and teamwork – all while being pushed to give free rein to their creativity and imagination.
FIRST LEGO League in Serbia
We are more than proud to be the main sponsor for the program in Serbia and to be present as judges during the tournament days. It is always a great pleasure for us to see the great creativity and motivation of the young participants and to their innovative solutions.
Our colleague Bogdan is one of the organizers of the FIRST LEGO League in Serbia. In his free time, he organizes and participates in events, and coaches the children at the workshops and competitions:
Together with Bogdan, we thought about how we could use this Christmas to bring joy to children and help them discover their interest in technology. And here’s what we came up with:
FIRST LEGO League goes NETCONOMY
As many of our colleagues have children, we wanted to show them first-hand what FIRST LEGO League is and invited them to a workshop in our Belgrade office.
There, coaches first told the children an exciting story about LEGO robotics and introduced them to the topic of programming. Then they showed them the basic elements of the LEGO sets, and the kids learned about sensors and motors.
After that, the participants were divided into two groups. Both teams programmed a robot and then presented their results to each other, just like in the real FIRST LEGO League.
The children whose interest in programming was sparked by the workshop can now participate in the official program and further develop their ideas.
Besides playing with LEGO, the children also enjoyed a visit from Santa Claus. He handed out Christmas gifts to the children, which the parents bought in advance with vouchers provided by the company. Of course, there were lots of cookies and a real Christmas tree too!
We are beyond proud that our colleagues are privately engaged in such meaningful topics. As the education of young people is crucial to us, we want to intensify our efforts in 2023 and support the FIRST LEGO League even more.
Therefore, our Christmas wish this year is to get many more kids excited about programming and to help them find and pursue their personal talents.
If you are interested in the program or would like to contribute yourself, you can get more information on the official website or under https://fll.rs/ for Serbia.