An­nual LEGO com­pe­ti­tion hones stu­dents’ STEM skills

Dayton Daily News - - WRIGHT-PATT TODAY -

Ap­prox­i­mately 60 teams from across the state com­peted in the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Cham­pi­onship held at the Wright State Univer­sity’s Ervin J. Nut­ter Cen­ter Feb. 3.

The an­nual event, spon­sored by the Wright-Pat­ter­son Air Force Base Ed­u­ca­tional Out­reach Of­fice, brought to­gether 9-to 14-year-old stu­dents, who demon­strated their engi­neer­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing skills, crit­i­cal think­ing, team­work, com­pet­i­tive­ness, sports­man­ship and sense of com­mu­nity.

“The big­gest ben­e­fit for the par­tic­i­pants is getting that solid foun­da­tion [in STEM],” said Dan An­drews, Wright-Pat­ter­son’s K-12 STEM out­reach co­or­di­na­tor. “When we’re try­ing to get folks to come work for the Air Force or for the na­tion as a whole, we want them to al­ready have that solid foun­da­tion of team­work and co­op­er­a­tion. We’re try­ing to get these kids from cra­dle to ca­reer.”

This year’s theme for the event was INTO OR­BIT. Teams were tasked with iden­ti­fy­ing phys­i­cal or so­cial prob­lems faced by hu­mans dur­ing long-term space ex­plo­ration within our sun’s so­lar sys­tem, cre­ate an in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion to this prob­lem and share their so­lu­tion with oth­ers.

“FIRST LEGO League is an ex­cit­ing, en­gag­ing and fun pro­gram in which stu­dents get to learn about ro­bots, pro­gram­ming, the engi­neer­ing de­sign process, team­work, col­lab­o­ra­tion and more,” said Brenda Ron­nebaum, Ohio’s FIRST LEGO League di­rec­tor and Ed­u­ca­tional Out­reach Of­fice Ro­bot­ics Pro­gram man­ager. “It’s our goal to show chil­dren that math, sci­ence and engi­neer­ing is fun and to en­cour­age them to pur­sue ca­reers in a STEM-re­lated field.”

Lo­cal teams par­tic­i­pat­ing in­cluded 1923 Robot Rap­tors (St. Christo­pher El­e­men­tary School), 4505 Vik­ings of the Cos­mos (Com­mu­nity Team), 15866 Thun­der-Bots (North­mont), 17361 IDKY (Com­mu­nity Team), 19186 Me­teor Crash­ers (Tri-County North El­e­men­tary School), 19619 Waves (Com­mu­nity Team), 20137 ElkBots (Magsig Mid­dle School), 24139 Tech­nonati (The Mi­ami Val­ley School), 25239 LE’GOr­geous Lego Ladies (Com­mu­nity Team), 32411 Quick­Bots (Com­mu­nity Team) and 31767 Mind­storm Mon­sters (Com­mu­nity Team).

Two teams ad­vanced from the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Cham­pi­onship and earned bids to com­pete at the World Fes­ti­val in Detroit; two teams earned bids to com­pete at the Ra­zor­back In­vi­ta­tional at the Univer­sity of Arkansas; two teams earned a bid to com­pete at LEGOLAND In­ter­na­tional Open in LEGOLAND, Cal­i­for­nia; and three teams earned a bid to com­pete at Moun­tain State In­vi­ta­tional at Fair­mont State Univer­sity in West Vir­ginia

■ 297 BrainBots from Cleve­land, 24741 Robo Rangers from West Ch­ester ad­vanc­ing to World Fes­ti­val.

■ 32411 Quick­Bots from Beaver­creek and 19278 Granville Mas­ter Builders from Granville - ad­vanc­ing to Ra­zor­back In­vi­ta­tional.

■ 8220 8 to Au­to­mate from Dublin and 32708 Sci­en­tific Sorcer­ers from Granville - ad­vanc­ing to LEGOLAND In­ter­na­tional Open.

■ 15866 Thun­der-Bots from Clay­ton; 2751 Lego Le­gion from Cincin­nati; and 30958 Ro­botic Rebels from Solon- ad­vanc­ing to Fair­mont State In­vi­ta­tional.

Charles Dox­ley (left) and Ja­cob Go­ings work with their robot dur­ing the tour­na­ment. Dox­ley and Go­ings were mem­bers of the Robo­nauts Re­turn team out of Olivet In­sti­tu­tional Bap­tist Church in Cleve­land. Two teams put their ro­bots through their paces in the sec­ond round of the FIRST LEGO League Ohio cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment Feb. 3 in Wright State Univer­sity’s Ervin J. Nut­ter Cen­ter. The teams had to pro­duce ro­bots ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing a va­ri­ety of tasks in a set arena.

Team Tech Tor­na­does work on their robot at the FIRST LEGO League Ohio cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment Feb. 3. Since 2001, the Air Force Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory at Wright-Pat­ter­son Air Force base has sup­ported the event by pro­vid­ing the fund­ing and vol­un­teers to help run the pro­gram. Tabitha Blanken­ship, 13, works on the Buzz, Buzz, Sting Sting team robot dur­ing the FIRST LEGO League Ohio cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment. The event was spon­sored by the Wright-Pat­ter­son Air Force Base Ed­u­ca­tional Out­reach of­fice. (U.S. Air Force pho­tos /R.J. Oriez)

Maj. Gen. Wil­liam T. Coo­ley, Air Force Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory com­man­der, presents the Wright-Pat­ter­son Air Force Base Founder’s Award to the LV Su­per Bots. The WPAFB Founder’s Award goes to the team that best hon­ors the mis­sion of ed­u­ca­tional out­reach and best en­cour­ages oth­ers to ex­plore math, sci­ence and engi­neer­ing.

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