Students and robots buzzed as teams awaited their turns at the Lego League to display everything they had been working towards in C3, a 5th grade gifted program that focuses on making connections, thinking critically and extending curriculum.
The Lego League was divided up into parts: project, Lego and teamwork. For student Alexander Pace, a member of Team 12, the Lego section stole the spotlight for him.
“My favorite part about the Lego league is the Legos because you can train the Legos on the computer and get them to go where you want them to go,” said Pace.
In the lego portion, students were required to show the skills they had programmed into their robot prior to the competition. The robot had to complete specific tasks to earn points, such as shooting a mini-soccer ball into a goal. The Lego portion was judged by three staff members; Assistant Superintendent Don Amonett, Chief of Administration Craig Harper and Tech Specialist Mike Leonard. In addition to completing the tasks, teams were interviewed by the judges.
“We wanted to find out why they built the robot the way they did and how they divided up their tasks between team members,” said Amonett.
According to Amonett, this year’s Lego League went smoother than year’s past, some thanks to new robots. However, smooth doesn’t correlate with simple.
“This table is the most difficult it’s ever been,” Amonett said.
Despite difficult obstacles, Team 12 acquired 125 points in Lego by completing door apprenticeship, changing conditions and goal.
To prepare for Lego League, students practiced during the day at C3 and occasionally after school. But it’s not all about the Legos. In the project section, teams work on their tri-boards, skits and presentations. Team 12’s focused on 4th grade social studies.
Pace’s team member Yasmeem Issa enjoyed the process of putting together the entire project.
“I liked working together as a team and getting to know everyone in C3,” Issa said.
Next year, another group of 5th graders will be put to the test and put through the challenges that this year’s group experienced. But Pace promised it’s all worth the hardship.
“The hardest part is getting past the mistakes,” he said. “But when you finally do it, you feel like a millionaire.”