All three teams from Clark Creek took home awards at the competition that tested student’s ability to program, work together and design robots with the popular LEGOs building block.
Clark Creek Principal Dr. Jennifer Scrivner said the students did an exceptional job at the competition.
“They love it and I’m so happy they all did so well,” Scrivner said. “These kids have such wonderful spirit, they cheer for each other and they’re so collaborative. I’m really, really proud of them.”
Clark Creek started its FIRST LEGO League team when the school opened two years ago, beginning with just seven students.
Participation more than tripled in the program’s second year, with 30 students and six coaches.
The competition this year was based around natural disasters, and teams were judged on robotics, core values, robot design and a group project centered on disaster relief using robots.
Elaine Hansard, one of six volunteer coaches for this year’s program, is in her second year coaching students in the FIRST LEGO League competitions.
“It’s fun, and the kids catch on quickly. They can do all the programming,” Hansard said.
All three teams, made up of 10 students each, brought home awards from the FIRST LEGO League robot competitions.
Matt Taylor, a parent of one of the Clark Creek students who participates in the program, said this was his son’s first year on the LEGO team and he’s glad Clark Creek could offer the opportunity.
“He seemed to really enjoy it,” Taylor said. “It’s pretty cool they had three different teams – that many students showed interest in it.”
Hansard helped coach the Righteous Robots team this year, which brought home the presentation trophy from regionals for its project in the tournament. The team invented an automated wall to help people in New Zealand survive a tsunami.
Amelia Ryan, a fourth-grade student on the Righteous Robots team, said the tsunami wall would be able to alert everyone about the incoming disaster, so they could get to safety.
“If there’s a tsunami coming, it’ll come up and be visual. It’ll show pictures for people who are deaf, and make sounds for people who are blind,” Ryan explained. “So everybody could get to safety.”
The BrickMasters team, coached by Teresa Baily, won a research trophy at regionals for its invention to help New York survive a blizzard and brought home first place in computer programming.
“This year, the theme was ‘Nature’s Fury.’ Each team developed something they thought could help others in case of an emergency,” Baily said. “They learn how to be a team, and they learn how to work through problems together and respect each other.”
Ashley Lago is part of the BrickMasters team, and said she loved participating in the FIRST LEGO league robot program at school.
“My favorite part was that I got to program the robot,” she said.
RoboHawks coach Cindy Reeves said the students use LEGOs, “like any child loves to play with,” and build robots.
“They program their robots to do what they want them to do,” Reeves said.
The RoboHawks team brought home third-place overall in the regional competition and first-place for teamwork, one of the competition’s core values.