BALTIMORE (WJZ) — These aren’t your grandparents’ Legos.
At Govans Elementary School in Baltimore, a group of young girls snap bricks together and attaches them to robots they program.
It’s part of the First Lego League, an international robotics competition that helps students gain first-hand experience with science, technology and math.
“This is way harder than what’s in math class, regular math class,” fifth-grader Jaylynn West said.
The after-school team is called 9 Girl Dragons, and they’re quite good: they identify and then solve complicated physical and computer programming problems.
“You’ve got to use your mind and your brain to figure out problems, figure out different solutions,” West said.
Beyond that, they’re also learning skills like teamwork.
“We work in a whole group and it’s just exciting to have other ideas and opinions,” fifth-grader Journey Doyle said.
That teamwork is propelling them forward and helping them take home awards.
“This team just won the championship award in the Baltimore regional championship,” said Amanda Porter with LET’S GO Boys and Girls, a group that wants to use STEM education to alleviate the cycle of poverty.
The dragons now move on to a state competition, but their excitement over the regional win hasn’t died down just yet.
“I felt excited, I felt like I won a whole million-dollar award because we won the whole thing!” West said. “We were doubting ourselves in the beginning because we thought we weren’t going to win because our program wasn’t working.”
One gets the feeling the dragons are primed for even more success.