Christoph and his wife Angie first joined the FIRST LEGO League community when their two sons were in kindergarten and second grade at Eugene Field Elementary.
They started a team with students who already knew one another. After discovering a learning disability, Christoph and Angie’s sons took a year break from participating in the program, ultimately rejoining FIRST LEGO League a year later.
“FIRST LEGO Leagues’ easy integration with standard sports or other school-based social activities, we found an outlet and a home in FIRST through EmBe,” Christoph states. “Our kids could express themselves and gain long-term social skills as well as friendships that have lasted for years.”
Throughout the years, Christoph and Angie have become more of an advocate for kids with neurodiversity challenges, knowing firsthand how inaccessible many programs are. What many don’t understand is how overlooked and passed by some children are in traditional school and sports activities.
“Our kids have big and gentle hearts. They had an innate ability to empathize and already had hearts for observing and helping others around them, but FIRST gave them recognition for their efforts and a forum to celebrate each other and their combined achievements.”
EmBe and FIRST LEGO League affirm compassion and curiosity toward life-long learning and innovation. Introducing critical thinking, defending their ideas through research, and learning how to present their thoughts to peers, teachers and other professionals in the adult world are experiences for all FIRST LEGO League participants. Participants get to work with adults who are excited to work with them solving real-world problems in creative ways.
Christoph and Angie pictures with their sons’ team at 2019 qualifiers
“It’s what you make of it, in terms of the value that can be taken from the program, because the students do the work,” Christoph said. “The positive affirmation has been worth it for us as parents and of incalculable value to our children.”
Getting involved in FIRST LEGO League is easy.
“It’s easier to get started with an EmBe program than most people realize. All it takes is interest and reaching out,” Christoph states. “The investment in the program through EmBe has never been a regret.”
EmBe is here to support your involvement, providing tools to communicate and collaborate with teams across the entire state, bringing kids together to support each other. Even through really tough times, like a pandemic.
Visit www.EmBe.org/program/first-lego-league/ to learn more or contact Jeremy Haugen at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more, start a team or become involved.