LEGO Robotics programs across the country are making sure that the next generation of rocket scientists and robotic engineers are not floundering. There are many different LEGO Robotics programs across the country and the goal of all of them is roughly the same. The competition is geared towards helping students understand how basic robots work while also helping to spur their imaginations. While these programs used to be offered only to high school students, the LEGO robotics programs are being spread out and offered to younger kids more often.
Because the program is built as a contest between teams of children there is also quite a bit of excitement. One such competition, taking place in Klamath Falls, Oregon, illustrated just how advanced some of these children can become using the LEGO robotics competition as a foundation. The kids not only have to build their own robot, but they must repair it if something goes wrong. By needing to build and maintain their machines, they are learning both the basics of robotic engineering and learning a grade of responsibility that other kids their age may not have to deal with just yet.
Of course, just because these kids might be experts in their field of competitive robotics, real life problems can still lead to issues we’ve all come across. When one team was about to compete in the Klamath Falls competition, they accidently dropped their robot.
“It fell and the axle broke,” said Hannah Neuman, 12, who attends Roosevelt Elementary. The team acted quickly to find a way to fix their robot before it was be deemed unusable in the contest. “Two or three kids took off like lightning,” said Betsy Neuman, who coached the team with her husband, Mike. The adults were not allowed to interfere, but they were impressed with how quickly and efficiently the Coyotes installed the new part.
In the end, Hannah’s team, The Coyotes, won their regional contest and is headed to the state finals in January to compete against the 50 best teams in Oregon. In all, the teams will learn that much more about the field of robotics and could some day, be that next generation that moves the field forward.
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Edited by Rich Steeves