FLL Junior: Boosting the energy

Last 8th of February, the University of Deusto was transformed for a few hours to host an event that, after 10 years, was held for the first time in three different headquarters: Bilbao, Mondragón and San Sebastián. I’m talking about the FLL Euskadi, which I’ve already talked about more than once. This time, for some people, this edition has been very special. For me, apart from being a pleasure, it has also been a challenge that has boosted my energy and has made me trust much more in our new entrepreneurs generations, who have fresh ideas. 

I’ve been participating as a volunteer at the FLL Euskadi for years, but this year my own challenge was to take part actively at the FLL Junior. I was eager to live it and experience it in the first person, even though I knew that it would mean that I wouldn’t experience again the adrenaline the robot game boosts, the presentations of the innovation projects and the value posters of the “older” participants. Today, I admit that the nerves and uncertainty of how everything was going to come out and the fact that I had to deal with around 100 children between 6 and 9 has been, without any doubt, an experience I will always remember and, especially, an experience that has taught me that:

no one is too “small” to show that, with effort, a lot of dedication and even more love, your dreams come true.

A few days before the big day, my colleagues and leaders of the FLL Euskadi Deusto (Lorena Fernández and Oihane Zarate) told me that, apart from coordinating the volunteers of the FLL Junior (which I did with pleasure), I’d also have to do the opening. Well, although it’s true that I like these plans, I won’t lie to you that the challenge they had just proposed to me, and which, obviously, I was not going to refuse, encompassed respect. I can assure you that the nerves and the butterflies that fluttered through my stomach 5 minutes before the opening made me stay present. Not surprisingly, the Icaza auditorium was overflowing with almost a hundred children, coaches, relatives proud of their “txikis” (children), “crazy” scientific judges and floaters who were attentive at the time.

There was I, in front of 23 teams willing to defend their innovative projects and FLL values. I assure you that I thought a lot of our “usual” hosts Gemma Martínez and Iban Garate, who weren’t going to be at the FLL Junior inauguration this year. How I understand you and how much I missed you!

The truth is that when the first minutes passed and with the support of everyone at the auditorium (and with a dry mouth because of the tension), it seemed that everything was going how it supposed to. The FLL Junior Euskadi Deusto 2020 started. It was 11:00am.

23 teams of children between 6 and 9 years old from 6 schools and 3 workgroups came together at the DBS building of the University of Deusto. The teams of the Begoñazpi School were the first ones to take the stage. It was a pleasure to see them communicate, to see how they explained their projects through the mock-up they made to give a creative solution to the Boomtown Build challenge and to see the FLL values they developed in the “research” process.

I hope you know that, during the FLL, students from different ages (from 6 to 16) have to give a solution to different challenges through innovative projects, overcome a series of missions in the robot game, and present the FLL values worked during the process.

Today I’d like to highlight the FLL values, those the participants have to show they have incorporated (discovery, innovation, impact, inclusivity, teamwork and entertainment). During the presentations, the teams show they have assumed those values in front of the scientific judges, both through some dynamics the group has to make, and through the presentation of a poster.

There’s no doubt that the FLL is something more than an occasional competition and a challenge to which they have to give a solution, because the FLL means work, learning, entertainment, team, creativity and innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, talent, communication, courage, illusion, respect, autonomy, responsibility, inclusivity and much more that I will let to your imagination and, who knows, maybe you want to discover it by yourselves on the following edition. What about it?

If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at this video, straight out of the oven.

I will be there, that’s for sure.

Enjoy the week.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.

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