• 61°

Heritage claims kudos at FIRST LEGO League Challenge

MADISON – A prime example of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM applications, LEGO Robotics is popular at Heritage Elementary School. Students showed their dedication to the discipline at the FIRST LEGO League Challenge.

The Activators and Shifting Gears teams from Heritage delivered an impressive showing at the state competition. The challenge emphasizes friendly competition as teams research, problem solve, code and apply engineering. Students build and program a LEGO robot that navigates a robot game’s missions.

Teams also participate in a research project to identify and solve a relevant real-world problem. This year’s contest was in virtual format. The challenge attracted 22 teams with approximately 220 students.

“This year’s challenge was titled, ‘The Replay Challenge,” coach Rachel Gibbs said. “In both the innovation project and robot game, students motivated their community to get out and get active. Teams presented their project and robot, as well as a judging conversation in a 30-minute Google Meet session.”

Rachel Gibbs, who is gifted specialist at Heritage, coaches the Activators. Third-grade teacher Ariel Grimmett mentors the Shifting Gears team.

Judges are professionals in the community who have experience with robotic projects, design and programming.

The Activators Team, all fifth-graders, includes Harshtha Chander, Carson Forsyth, Laya Gowder, Grant Jauken, Zachary Johnson, Emily Lynn, Ishita Rajput and Eleri Sanders.

In the Shifting Gears Team, fourth-grade members are Anshita Agarwal, Sheldon Erickson, Prachi Khadka, Kaitlyn Nelson, Diego Santos and Colin Stonecypher, along with fifth-graders Evelyn Davis, Declan Giles and Elizabeth Peterson.

“Our Activators Team took home the Robot Performance Award, coming in first place and earning the most points in the robot run portion. The Activators also won the Robot Design Award,” Gibbs said.

“For robot performance, the winning team’s robot earns the most points by completing missions successfully on the robot table through strategy and programming,” Gibbs said. “The Robot Design Award (goes) to the team who (had) the most effective and innovative strategy, along with robot design and coding. They exemplify teamwork by including everyone as an important part of the process.”

By joining FIRST LEGO League, students receive multiple benefits at both local and state levels. “Students (can) practice important executive skills that will be very useful later in life, such as researching, goal setting, planning and evaluating results,” Gibbs said. “I believe the program’s most valuable aspect is the opportunity for students to build teamwork skills, such as trust, communication and collaboration.”

For a teacher, the LEGO activity is rewarding “to watch students grow and build relationships with one another and work as a unified group to solve a real-world problem,” Gibbs said. Her team members most enjoy the chance to meet and learn with their friends every week. They feel a sense of family.

“Our parent coaches also play a huge role in our LEGO Robotics journey each year. We wouldn’t succeed at the level we have historically without their support,” Gibbs said. The Activators’ parent coaches are Matt Johnson, Matthew Lynn, Sherri Lynn and Yvonne Sanders. The Shifting Gears’ mentors are Pedro Capo-Lugo, Rich Erickson and Heidi Peterson.

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – Feb. 28, 2024

James Clemens High School

German program at James Clemens impresses national group

Madison

Triana welcomes opening of Smithsonian exhibit

Huntsville

Thomas Fleming wins American Legion Oratorical Contest

Harvest

Try Spring Break camp at Fantasy Playhouse or botanical garden

James Clemens High School

Flagg, McDougal accepted in State Superintendent’s Art Exhibit

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones Blue Knights take Overall Championship in Hazel Green

Bob Jones High School

Madison claims first-place wins in All-Girls State Chess Championship

Madison

Madison Fire & Rescue responds to second baby surrender through Safe Haven Baby Box

Bob Jones High School

Robertson finds ‘perfect fit’ as Special Education Coordinator

Liberty Middle School

Liberty’s Mardi Paws Parade raises funds for shelter animals

James Clemens High School

11-day tour to Korea, Japan in summer 2025 open to Madison teens

James Clemens High School

Players eager for 2024 Grade-Level City Chess Championship

Harvest

‘Brews for Enable’ at Yellowhammer to benefit Enable Madison County

Bob Jones High School

MCCL members, teams grab awards at Rookie Rally

Madison

State board lauds Heritage in ‘Top 25 Percent Schools’ for Alabama

Harvest

Parker composes, performs and mentors songwriters in lifetime of music

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones AFJROTC named Grand Champions at Hoover

Bob Jones High School

TVA’s School Uplift grants can reduce energy costs and improve campus

Bob Jones High School

Warm-up Quads on Feb. 24 to prepare players for City Chess Championship

Liberty Middle School

Chander, Grieve, Rajput win national awards in PTA Reflections

Bob Jones High School

Knights of Columbus’ donations buy pods for MCS Special Education

Madison

Love is alive and well in the heart of this special artist

Love is alive and well in the heart of this special artist

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – Feb. 14, 2024

x