Over one hundred creative young minds competed in the regional Junior FIRST® LEGO® League Expo on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Sanford School in Hockessin.

On Saturday, December 15, a little over a week until Christmas, the Sanford School’s gymnasium was all abuzz with hundreds of young, creative minds. Students, ranging in age from 6-9, were participating in the regional Junior FIRST® LEGO® League Expo.

There were a total of 21 teams, a total of 130 students, including two teams from Sanford participating.

The goal of the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League Expo is to foster young people’s interest in science, engineering, technology, and math through the use of LEGOs.

Every year a new theme is presented to challenge the students, and the object is to learn about the presented subject matter. Each team then builds a LEGO creation/table display that ties in to theme, using a 15 x 15 inch Lego platform as a foundation. In addition to building the table display, each team designs and presents a poster.

The LEGO creation is evaluated by judges who then award trophies to the participating teams.

This year’s the theme is SUPER SENIORS and inspired some very creative results.

The Sanford Senior Challengers chose to use teammate Lindsay Kalish’s grandmother, a former nurse, for inspiration for their LEGO project.

Their project, which took eight weeks to build, was centered on helping seniors getting help in a hospital setting, whether they are in need of a knee replacement or x-rays.

“I love creating and building,” third-grader Meg Macauley said on why she loves working with LEGOs. Teammate Kalish was looking forward to the trophy ceremony, and was hoping their team had a chance at a few awards. “I hope we win most-detailed or most team spirit,” she said.

In the end, the Sanford Senior Challengers won the Gracious Professionalism Award, and the other Sanford team, the Lego Builders, won the Effort and Learning Award.

For more information on the FIRST® LEGO® League, visit www.usfirst.org/.