Children from all corners of Brooklyn came together last weekend to compete in a day of engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks modeled after real-life technological challenges.
At the 13th annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Brooklyn Qualifier, 42 teams gathered at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), with more than 400 local elementary and middle school students working to advance to the next level.
The competition "introduces kids ages 9-14 to the thrill of hands-on robotics, research, teamwork and inquiry-based problem solving, in order to spark a lifelong passion for science and technology," according to a statement.
Twenty three teams advanced to the next level and were recognized for a variety of honors, including children from the neighborhood.
The Gear Hawks from P.S. 399 on Albemarle Road received the first place Champion's Award.
The award, according to FLL, "recognizes a team that embodies the FLL experience, by fully embracing our core values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project."
The Gear Hawks also placed first in robot performance. "This award recognizes a team that scores the most points during the Robot Game," FFL noted. "Teams have a chance to compete in at least three 2.5 minute matches and their highest score counts." This is based on three rounds.
The Gear Hawks will advance to the Citywide Championship held at the Jacob Javits Center in March.