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Heritage’s First LEGO League ‘shifts gears’ to greenway

MADISON – For their FIRST LEGO League entry, the Shifting Gears team at Heritage Elementary School chose a project to help people continue an active lifestyle and ‘to get moving’ on Bradford Creek Greenway.

This greenway is popular with many residents. Bradford Creek Greenway even has an entrance/exit at Heritage’s campus.

Visiting the greenway gave the Heritage students “the idea to develop their version of a greenway trail that would also have interactive components to keep the community moving and engaged,” Shifting Gears Coach Ariel Grimmett said.

Team members of Shifting Gears are fourth-graders Anshita Agarwal, Diego Santos, Kaitlyn Nelson, Colin Stonecypher, Prachi Khadka and Sheldon Erickson and fifth-graders Declan Giles, Elizabeth Peterson and Evelyn Davis. Rachel Gibbs also mentors a LEGO team at Heritage.

“After interviewing the director of our local YMCA, Mr. Daniel Kassambira, the team found that many people prefer to do exercise if it is interactive and doesn’t feel like working out. They then decided to zone in on ways to make being active more fun and engaging,” Grimmett said.

“The team is hopeful that our project idea will inspire people in the community to try new things to help them stay active,” Grimmett said.

FIRST LEGO League guides youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM learning and exploration for four-year-olds to 16 years. From the Discover level, to Explore level and then to Challenge level, students will understand the basics of STEM and apply their skills in an exciting competition while building habits of learning, confidence and teamwork skills along the way, Kassambira said.

Students participating with STEM can gain real-world, problem-solving experience in a guided, global robotics program. This work helps today’s students and teachers build a better future together.

“Our three divisions inspire youth to experiment and grow their critical thinking, coding and design skills through hands-on STEM learning and robotics,” Grimmett said. “A FIRST LEGO League event gives students a chance to shine.”

Each LEGO season ends with a celebration when teams show off what they learned and invented, and in our oldest division, compete with their robots, Grimmett said. Some teams earn an invitation to FIRST LEGO League World Festival as part of FIRST Championship Houston or FIRST Championship Detroit.

For more information, visit firstlegoleague.org.

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