Students excel in cyber, robotics competitions
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Robotics program hosted the 2017 LEGO Robotics Championship, junior division, April 8 at the college’s La Plata Campus, according to a news release. This year’s challenge theme was “Trash Trek.” Teams were asked to use LEGO Mindstorm/EV3 robotics systems to build robots that could complete a laundry list of trash-related tasks, like bumping into a LEGO composter and turning it on and using the robot to initiate a recycling process. The teams earned points for each task successfully completed by their robot, with up to approximately 1,000 points possible.
“I think it gets the kids to learn how to handle challenges and learn a step-by-step process,” said Ann Stine, coach for the GLS Lions Gold team from Grace Lutheran School. “Also, they learn how to work together.”
Parent helper Anita Scott of Hollywood was among the crowd of anxious onlookers as her daughter Gabbi, 9, and her team, the Trashtalkers of The King’s Christian Academy, competed in one of the early heats. “I think it’s been great,” Scott said. “It’s taught her team-building. And as a mother of a daughter, I like that she’s getting involved in a STEM program.”
Patti Edwards, a teacher from Our Lady Star of the Sea, worked with the team from her school, the Robohawks, as they prepared for their next match. Edwards noted that events like the LEGO championship allow the students with technical and engineering skills to apply their strengths and shine outside of the classroom. “These are our problem-solvers for the future,” Edwards said.
Members of the Brick Girls from Barstow Elementary School put their robot through its paces as the referee looks on during one of the later heats in the elementary competition at the 2017 LEGO Robotics Championship, junior division. The event was held April 8 at CSM’s La Plata Campus. The Brick Girls went on to win one of the competitions’ top awards, taking first place for Robot Performance.