‘Sports for the mind’

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

Dob­bin said he is of­ten asked the se­cret be­hind the school’s suc­cess at the event. It is an an­swer he has trou­ble for­mu­lat­ing.

“I can talk about this all day. Just get me started,” Dob­bin said. That is the key, he fig­ures. “We’re pas­sion­ate about it and it shows in the work we do with the stu­dents,” he noted.

Lessons learned

Through the ex­pe­ri­ence with the Lego League, the stu­dents at St. Fran­cis have learned valu­able life lessons de­signed to help them in what­ever ca­reer they chose.

“It is a great ed­u­ca­tional tool, if you want to be­come an en­gi­neer,” said Bray­den. But, it is not only en­gi­neers who will ben­e­fit. “You learn prob­lem solv­ing, and work­ing with peo­ple,” said Aicha Djaoutkhanoua, who helped do all of the pro­gram­ming for the ro­bots, along with Fati­hah.

Dob­bin said it pays div­i­dends when the stu­dents get out onto the job site. “It ap­plies to ROV driv­ing,” he said. Core val­ues are an in­te­gral part of the com­pe­ti­tion judg­ing and teach par­tic­i­pants that friendly com­pe­ti­tion and mu­tual gain are not sep­a­rate goals, and that help­ing one an­other is the foun­da­tion of team­work.

“They’re learn­ing real world prob­lems and they’re learn­ing how to solve the prob­lems,” said Lit­tle­john.

Dob­bin has a spe­cial name for the work the stu­dents do in the tech­nol­ogy lab.

“I call it sports for the mind.”

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