What do we think when we hear the word “LEGO”? Maybe a package of colorful pieces of plastic that can be used to build whatever kids want, to learn the colors, or even to count. The reality is that for our kids Lego means inspiration, creativity, explorations, magic, games, coding, strategies and much more. It is working with the mind and from the heart at the same time. Their minds and hearts are still in the process of development; nevertheless, when they put together their great ideas and work with small pieces, they get gigantic results.
After months of preparation, the Second Lego competition was held in September in Santa Lucia Intibucá, the closest Municipality to El Salvador. Each team had to pay a bus to get there. The furthest distance was traveled by the team from San Marcos. Some students from this team had to walk two hours to get to their High school and then, ride three hours on the bus to get to Santa Lucia. The sun was shining and everyone was happy the long-awaited moment had come. What an emotion to see all the strategies everyone had prepared to affront the challenge. We even had a couple of sisters competing against each other, they were happy to see what was about to come.
This year, we had 7 teams from 5 Municipalities participated. Most of the teams’ members were high school students, one team particularly was formed by young people who did not have the opportunity to continue their studies in High School (Amigos de Santa Lucia); however, they felt very interested in learning about robotics. These youth wanted to be part of the competition, but in order to get a kit, they needed to have a leader. It was not an obstacle for them, they looked for someone in their community and immediately got the kit to start working.
During the competition, there were no words to describe the emotions in the air. There were smiles, tears, nervousness, joy, excitement, and more than that, an environment full of learning. It was hard to have foreseen that in one of the poorest countries of the planet a 10-year-old student was able to code a robot. Prior to preparing for the competition some of the students never even had the opportunity to see a robot, yet with this project, they were not only able to see a robot, but to think it, build it, and code it to manipulate it to face the challenge.
It is hard to have imagined all the great ideas that came out when they rose up to the challenge. “[It’s like] kids carry a genius within because they are autonomous and creative… because they only needed the instructions one time for them to think beyond. This activity stimulates their curiosity because they can experiment as they please to find a solution,” Kids were willing to spend a lot of hours trying and exploring new things.
“[It’s like] kids carry a genius within because they are autonomous and creative… because they only needed the instructions one time for them to think beyond. This activity stimulates their curiosity because they can experiment as they please to find a solution”coach Lidis Diaz.
One of the students at our Bilingual School, Elkin Diaz described Lego as “a great experience that has shaped my learning process. My favorite part was building the robot and trying new strategies every time”. It is clear that with small pieces we are building a great future in our beloved Honduras!!