“The gymnasium of Timberlake Christian Schools on Saturday was filled with teams of children, some of them counting down the final seconds on the scoreboard while others on the sideline shouted an improvised cheer.
The competition? Not sports. Robots.
More specifically LEGO robots, made by teams of kids ages 9 to 14 from throughout the area for the sixth annual Lynchburg regional FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition.
About 270 children and teens competed on 36 teams.
Their challenge: Create a robot to improve the quality of food by finding ways to prevent contamination. Projects in the gym ran the gamut from mercury in seafood to E. coli contamination in beef to salmonella in chicken.
Kaleb Batman, of the team Milhous Minions, named after its Amherst sponsor Milhous Company, said he learned a lot about programming and teamwork in the two months leading up to the contest.
He said no matter how frustrating it could get building the robot, he had his teammates throughout the process.
“You’re all in it together,” Kaleb said.
Teams were graded on factors that include robot design, teamwork and a presentation about their robot and their solution to the problem, said Barbara Bragg, tournament director.
The idea behind the competition is to get youths involved in science, technology, engineering and math activities, Bragg said. It also lets the kids learn problem-solving and teamwork skills, she said.
“It’s all about STEM education,” Bragg said. The event was sponsored by Central Virginia Community College, Region 2000 Technology Council and Timberlake Christian Schools…”
Read the full article at the News & Advance website.