Middle School Robotics Semi-Finalist in 2021 Innovation Project
Written by Ms. Melissa Benner and Mrs. Joslyn Roberts-Judy
Middle School Robotics students have been working diligently preparing for the LEGO First League Challenge. Students have been engaged in research, problem-solving, coding and engineering. The theme this year was around fitness and play being accessible to all. Our team, #Grandma, identified that though some playground equipment is designed to be accessible to those with disabilities, there is still a need for inclusivity to involve ALL children. They researched and designed an all-inclusive merry-go-round that accommodated all children.
The design would provide space for wheel chairs to lock, seat belted benches for those with limited mobility and a section for able-bodied children. The students reached out and engaged in conversations with professionals in the field of parks and recreation to guide them in the process. Through their work and innovative design, our project was nominated to represent the Florida – Northeast/Central region in the Global Innovation award. The students have advanced to the semi-finals with students from all over the world, which offers them the opportunity to showcase their research and project on a global level. The team is now preparing to submit the Innovation project to the Global Innovation Awards.
Outside of the Innovation project, students built and coded a robot to complete different missions on the Lego First Field. Missions, the robot, was able to successfully complete actions on the treadmill, bench, slide, innovation, and dance. With the competitions going virtual this year, LEGO First offered a practice competition in the fall. MVA students were able to take the feedback from that practice round and improved by doubling their score in the robot run portion. We had our second competition interview with the judges and were far more prepared this round and #Grandma team place fifth out of 16.
Congratulations to students: Nishchay Bhattarai, Johnny Drawdy, Elliot Gunasekera, Sebastian Martin, Pras Patel, Rocco Provenzano, Christopher Russo, and Ryan Sapp. We wish you the best in the next step of the competition!