By Kevin Osgood, AmeriCorps Member serving at Gossler Park Elementary School, Supported by Lincoln Financial.
The FIRST Lego League after school program has just had its third meeting at Gossler Park Elementary School and great strides are already being taken. The robots are assembled and the students are beginning to learn the ins and outs of the programming process. There is an eagerness to learn that captures the group each meeting that has driven us forward and I am excited to see what we accomplish in the remainder of the year.
The program started with an emphasis on teamwork. As fun as it is to be controlling Lego robots, the FIRST program is truly about working together towards a common goal. Ms. Sean and I set a foundation for excellent teamwork by creating a full value contract with the students. In this contract the students came up with their own expectations as to how they wanted this program to run. Some of these key values were respect for others and materials, healthy disagreement, and accountability.
Another important aspect of the FIRST program is the meaning behind the mission. This year the theme is Trash Trek. The students are learning about different ways waste is managed in our society and how they can play a role in reducing the amount of waste produced. They will be working on a project for the rest of the year that will cover the issue of trash in our community.
As a co-coach for the FIRST afterschool program, I have a really great role of being somebody who can teach the students, support them, but most importantly I am able to witness the amazing creativity and passion that the students bring every week. It is very special to be a part of a program that is cultivating a high-level of teamwork skills at such a young age, as well as introduce students to the world of STEAM.