ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL STUDENTS ADVANCE TO THE ALAMO AREA CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE FIRST LEGO LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAMS WIN FIRST AND SECOND PLACE AWARDS IN QUALIFIER ROUND OF ROBOTICS COMPETITION
St. Luke’s Episcopal School students have won first and second place awards at the FIRST LEGO League qualifier tournament, advancing them to the Alamo Area Championship in March. FIRST LEGO League is an international robotics competition that challenges learners to apply STEM concepts and skills in imaginative ways to solve problems.
On Saturday, January 12, 15 sixth through eighth graders from St. Luke’s Episcopal School competed in the qualifier round of the FIRST LEGO League tournament. The students, who are currently taking a robotics elective course at St. Luke’s, comprised two teams named “Nerds of Steel” and “Enginerds 2.0.” In FIRST LEGO League, students are tasked with researching and developing innovative solutions to real-world problems. “What makes this competition so fun is how it relates to the real world,” says seventh-grader Lauren Maverick. “We got to think of ways for astronauts to live in space long-term and had to work together to come up with a solution, just like a team of astronauts. We’re all different but everyone has something to offer the team.”
Teams are judged on their performance in three categories: (1) mechanical design, programming, and performance in the Robot Game; (2) the Project involving research, solution, and presentation of a real-world problem; and (3) demonstrating the Core Values of inspiration, teamwork, and gracious professionalism. St. Luke’s Enginerds 2.0 won second place in the Robot Game, while Nerds of Steel earned first place in both the Project and Robot Game categories. In addition, Nerds of Steel was also awarded the Champion’s Award, the highest honor recognizing a team that embodies the Core Values of FIRST LEGO League and achieves excellence in the Robot Game and Project. “The biggest challenge in the Robot Game was definitely patience,” says seventh-grader Catie Miles. “Teamwork is a really important part of the Core Values because you can’t build a strong robot unless you work together and cooperate with each other.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of our two teams,” says St. Luke’s coach Suzanne Parker. “From building and programming their robots to researching, evaluating, and presenting a solution to problems faced during long-duration space missions, our students have to possess a wide range of skills to be successful in this competition. Robotics is the perfect complement to the skills of critical thinking, leadership, and perseverance taught in the St. Luke’s classroom.