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2008-09 Schweitzer Fellow Caitlin Johnson (pictured, above left) co-founded the first Dartmouth Lego League Robotics Tournament last year.

Schweitzer Fellow Caitlin Johnson (above, left) found her own Lambarene by co-founding the inaugural Dartmouth Lego League Robotics Tournament last year.

At this past Saturday’s Pri-Med East keynote, ASF President Dr. Lachlan Forrow talked about the idea of “finding your own Lambarene” — doing what you love most and are best at, and applying that skill in a way that is of service to our fellow human beings and our world.

Over the past three years, Schweitzer Fellows at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering have done exactly that — in a very unique way.

Starting with 2007-08 New Hampshire-Vermont Schweitzer Fellows Rose Mutiso and Kristen Lurie, and continuing with 2008-09 Fellows Caitlin Johnson and Phil Wagner, these Fellows launched the Dartmouth Lego League (DLL) — aimed at promoting middle-schoolers’ self-confidence and knowledge, and encouraging their interest in science, technology, and engineering.

This past weekend, those Fellows’ efforts culminated in the second annual Dartmouth Lego League Robotics Tournament, at which “eighteen teams from local elementary and middle schools around New Hampshire and Vermont [demonstrated] their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.” (Click here for a press release about the event.)

In addition to igniting young people’s passion for science and engineering, the tournament brought many different segments of the Dartmouth community together:

This year’s event involved more volunteers from different sectors of the community, including local high school students and town residents, Johnson said. The diversity of volunteers helped to bring the College together with the local community, she said.

Johnson said her interaction with the town, and particularly with local children, is one of greatest benefits of the Lego League program.

“It’s nice getting to know people in the local community,” she said. “It keeps me going.”

Read The Dartmouth’s coverage of Saturday’s second annual Dartmouth Lego League Robotics Tournament here.

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