We just completed our first year with Jr. First Lego League. It has been a great experience for all of us! The theme this year was Body Forward and the kids were asked to come up with a replica and poster of a biomedical invention that makes things better or easier for everyone. Oh, did I forget to mention that some part of this had to move?
Working? Playing? Yes!
Tons of Legos helps

The first idea was to create a prosthetic arm from Lego pieces. After weeks of reading books on the subject and a field trip to a prosthetic designer, we decided that it just wasn't working.
After another brainstorming session, the kids clearly wanted to do something with a military theme. After some online research, they decided to reconstruct a Combat Support Hospital (CSH and pronounced "cash") that is used for troops in combat areas.

Da Vinci robotic surgery
X-ray machine
The CSH unit has five stages. A helicopter to transport the injured from the battle field, an armored transport vehicle to carry the injured to the tents, a triage tent to asses the wounds, an operating tent, and an intensive care unit tent for recovery. The cycle is complete as the recovering soldier is once again loaded aboard the helicopter to be flown to a better hospital.  Sound like a lot? Not for these kids. They attacked to project and really produced an outstanding display.

Coming together! Clockwise from lower left: helicopter, transport vehicle, triage, OR, and ICU
 The moving parts were on the helicopter which was supported on poles above the rest of the display. A motor made the blades spin and a manual crank lifted a wounded minifig in a basket. Some of my favorite features for the other stages were: a transport vehicle with opening doors for a minifig to fit inside, a curtained off exam room in the triage made with a Lego fishing pole and net, the x-ray machine, the da Vinci robotic arms for the OR, a sink in the OR, IV poles and beds in the ICU and lastly, nurses and doctors toting laptops!

setting up at the JrFLL event
The final result!

The day was a success. The judges were impressed and the kids did a fabulous job describing their project. Every member spoke comfortably and knowledgeably to the judges. We were so delighted when we were asked to show our project as a representative of the junior level in April at the high school FLL event! We'll be there!

The project is not all that we did. We used the WeDo system and the Lego Education Set to teach programming and the use of simple machines. I blogged about this earlier here.
Working with the WeDo


  1. I'm so proud of all of them. It was fun too.

  2. Wow! Their project looks awesome! Is that a nurse on a computer in the ICU? I love it!

  3. Jenny, yes! They put in so many details. At one time there was a small pile of spare minifig parts in the OR in case they needed to replace a limb!

  4. I also was proud of our team. They are amazing!

    Monica Thomas