ACTC Grant Can Help Start FIRST LEGO Teams

Ashland Community and Technical College has established a challenge grant to support the formation of new FIRST LEGO League Robotics teams in the FIVCO area.

FIRST LEGO League teams plan, design, build, program, and test robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology. First Lego was established more than 20 years ago to inspire children ages 9-14 to develop their interests in science, technology, engineering and math. Team members also build lifelong skills in creativity, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

The ACTC challenge grant, provided by an anonymous donor, will provide part of the funding needed to start new teams.  Ten grants of up to $1,000 each are available, and teams are challenged to raise an additional $500 to $1,500 through fundraiser activities, member participation fees, community donations, or other organizational support or grants.

The grant and matching funds can be used for LEGO materials, including the Mindstorms Base Set and software, a resource set, and various projects or terrain maps.  Funds may also be needed for competition travel, team t-shirts, or stipends for students who cannot otherwise afford to participate.

The Challenge Grants support the establishment of new teams while encouraging them to invest in their own success and begin building team spirit through fundraising efforts.

To apply for a grant, FIRST LEGO League teams should be new and exist as part of a school or established community group or organization in the FIVCO area of Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties.

Each FLL team may have up to 10 team members ages 9 to 14 and must have at least one team leader or captain over 18 years of age to facilitate and oversee team activities.  The team leader does not need a background in engineering or technology – just an interest in helping students succeed.  ACTC will offer workshops this fall to how to build and coach FIRST LEGO teams.

To learn more about how to start your own FIRST LEGO League team, visit http://www.firstlegoleague.org/challenge/startateam.

New and established teams are invited to participate in a FIRST LEGO League Regional tournament hosted by ACTC on December 7 at the Technology Drive Campus. Information on the grant and FIRST LEGO robotics teams is on the web at: http://ashland.kctcs.edu/en/fll_tournament.aspx.

Challenge Grant applications must be submitted by Friday, August 30.  For an application or questions about team formation, contact Karen Coburn, ACTC Manager of External Education Programs, at 606-326-2129 or email: karen.coburn@kctcs.edu.