OAK RIDGE (WATE) – A group of Oak Ridge middle schoolers and their Lego robot will be heading to Houston, Texas, to represent their school at the First Lego League World Championships.
The Jefferson Middle School Master Builders team finished first in the state championship. They built a robot made out of Legos and programmed it to do certain tasks. It runs across a table completing tasks which add up points at competitions.
They started building at the beginning of the school year, working all year to perfect their technique.
“It contains a brick which is basically it’s brain. It controls different motors such as this one which control different attachments,” said seventh grade student Amelia Thomson.
The First Lego League is about much more than just building Lego robots. This year’s theme was Animal Allies, so this team went through 12 iterations to create biodegradable six-pack rings.
“They did a lot of research about why we need to have dissovable six-pack rings and the problem it causes,” said their coach Lexie Scott.
While it is fun and games, it is also building interest in STEM skills and others.
“I’ve learned how to be a better public speaker because you have to get up in front of a panel of judges and talk about your ideas. I’ve bettered my engineering and programming skills from all the years I’ve done the robot,” Thomson said.
It lets the kids get hands on to develop life-long skills.
“Through the group everybody, especially middle schoolers, can work on teamwork and team building and learning how to cooperate with one another,” Scott said.
The team will head to Houston for the world championships April 19-22. Teams from more than 50 different countries will be there.