Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

First Lego League Brooklyn Qualifier

400 students from across Brooklyn were swarming inside 6 Metrotech Center, on the campus of NYU-Poly this weekend, for the NYC First Lego League Brooklyn Qualifier.

From the 2014 Brooklyn Qualifier for the NYC First Lego League Championship.

Photo by Jamique Mascoll/NYU School of Engineering, used by permission.

400 students from across Brooklyn were swarming inside 6 Metrotech Center, on the campus of NYU-Poly this weekend, for the NYC First Lego League Brooklyn Qualifier, for the citywide Lego robot championship. Thirty-five teams competed in the event and eighteen took home prizes, for everything from best robot performance to innovation solutions to programming.

The NYU-Poly Center for K12 STEM Education, which we have written about previously, organized the event. It also helped many of the teams prepare by providing graduate students to help different classrooms to get ready to participate. Ben Esner, Director of the Center, explained how this outreach has made it possible to create a more level playing field among teams and to bring in schools from across Brooklyn.

“We make a special effort to give all schools the means to participate,” Esner told us. The event is primarily made up of traditional public schools, though others participate as well.

Students could compete on the performance of their robots, or they could compete on research projects. The teams that won awards at the event will go on to compete at the Javits Center, in the citywide competition, on April 5th.

In this year’s competition, students have a number of tasks to complete with their robots on a simulated natural disaster field.

Technically Brooklyn spoke with a five year veteran of the game, Ivan, from MS442: the School of Innovation, who explained that his team mainly used the robot kit that came out of the box.

Its main modifications were a bumper and an arm that helped it push and control the ambulance that had to be rescued. His teammate, Precious, told us that she joined the team two years ago because she had always been interested in computers.

Jawad, from PS 3, also explained his team’s research project to us. He said the students in his group became interested in using drones for rescue missions after hearing about the disaster in the Philippines. He took part in presenting two robot drones during the research component, with 3D models.


One was a flying drone, with a camera and the capability for a heavy payload. The second was ground based, with a drill and plough, for moving through debris. He said, “I saw people in the Philippines who were in trouble so we decided to create machines that would help.”

Drone models from the Brooklyn 2014 NYC First Lego League Qualifier

3D models of PS3’s drones.

Jawad’s teacher, Ryan Cain, is one of the repeat coaches for the Brooklyn event, and his classroom also has the support of one of Poly’s grad students.

To participate in the events, Esner explained that a team needs about $450 for the basic robotic kit. They also need the entry fee to participate in a competition which runs about $200, but that includes a model game board, allowing them to simulate the competition in class. Students know exactly what tasks they have to complete when they arrive at a competition.

Here are the complete results:

Award ReceivedTeam #Team NameSchool # / Name
Robot Performance First Place1869Master BlastersPS94K The Henry Longfellow
Research2458Mission MastersPS 8 Robert Fulton School
Champion’s First Place2581Royal SagesSalve Regina Catholic Academy
Mechanical Design10700NanowolvesFort Greene Prep
Innovative Solutions5848Tsunami BytesIS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos
Rising Star10661Blood, Sweat, and GearsIS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos
Teamwork10064Packer FLL2Packer Collegiate Institute
Inspiration10654Gear HawksStanley Eugene Clark PS 399
Robot Performance Third Place10680Robo-WarriorsPS 270 Johann DeKalb
Presentation12414The LEGO MindblowersPS 261
Advances to Championship15555Banneker BotsPS 256
Champion’s/Robot Performance Second Place16628Sunset Park Prep – Lego My EggoSunset Park Prep (Middle School 821)
Against All Odds16966Lego ForceMS 442
Strategy and Innovation17515MS 50 WarriorsJohn D. Wells Middle School 50
Gracious Professionalism10698MadibabotsMadiba Prep Middle School
Champion’s Third Place10672Lego Legacy 366MS 366 Science and Medicine Middle School
Judges Award10689Panther’s RoboticsCrispus Attucks PS 21
Programming10685Lego LegendsCommunity Partnership Charter School
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