Middle School Robotics Teams Call For Out-of-the-Box Thinking and Teamwork

Middle School boys in robotics, along with their coaches Lisa Anderson, Sarah Luposello and Chap Warren, can be found on weekday afternoons and some weekends carefully contemplating computer code, designing and building through experimentation Lego robots, and researching the impact of unclean water on a community. The boys’ commitment and collaboration paid off this past weekend at the Manhattan Qualifier in the First Lego League 2017/18 Robotics Challenge. The Fourth Grade Team, all new to robotics this year, won an award for Best Robot Design and the Fifth Grade Team was awarded for Outstanding Teamwork in the Core Values category. The fourth graders also made the podium in the All-Around Competition and were awarded a Golden Ticket to the New York City Finals, being held on March 11, at CCNY.
This year’s Lego League Robotics theme is Hydrodynamics. Each of the three teams – Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grade – had to decide which aspect of the water cycle to research and which water challenges their robot could realistically tackle on the game board in the two and a half minutes allotted, some of which included: moving a broken pipe so it is completely in its base and making at least one raindrop come out of the rain cloud. Programming the robot to perform these maneuvers required careful calculation and a solid understanding of programming the robot.
 
It was impressive to hear fourth grader Soham explain, "To work out how to code the robot to make a rotation on the board, I first measured the distance in centimeters then divided it by 17.1 centimeters."
 
In addition to the research project and the game board missions, each team was required to explain to judges their core values, how the group worked as a team and what this entailed. The judges were so impressed by the Fifth Grade Team throughout the day noting the positive way they worked together, helping each other out. See attachment.
 
The coaches said, "We couldn’t help but feel proud as we watched all three teams rely on the skills they’d built in STEAM and Robotics to excel and do such a great job at the tournament."
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.