The Humble Beginnings
No one knew what to expect from the team the first year; in fact, the First LEGO League coaches manual tells you that a new team’s first year will be a learning/building year, so don’t expect to take home the gold. Thus, it was a huge win for the team when they won the Core Values trophy at the regional competition. The team’s robot performed well, and their overall score was high enough to move on to Super Regionals on January 14 at the Kennesaw Charter Science & Math Academy. What a huge accomplishment for our young team!
“I was led to start the LEGO Robotics club because my youngest son Patrick loved technology and robotics and was so excited to participate on a robotics team at his last school. I helped coach Patrick’s robotics team last year and was so impressed at all that the First Lego League organization offers,” said Garner. “When I asked if Cornerstone had a robotics team, the answer was that they would love to start one but needed a coach. Mrs. Burton and Mrs. Borders have been so supportive, they asked what we needed and then set about making sure we had it. If you build it, they will come, and these kids (and parents) have been amazing!
- David Baines
- Madelyn Beatty
- Sam Boland
- Jacob Freiler
- Patrick Garner
- Jonah Kalafut
- Keaton McCollum
- Zan Mounce
- Sarah Sanabia
- Isaac Sanchez
Each robotics team builds the challenge set pieces, plus designs and builds their robot, decides on the missions they would like to accomplish, and programs their robot to do as many missions as they can fit into their allotted time.
Also, each team was tasked with a project--the 2016-2017 challenge was Animal Allies. The StormBots had to choose a research project that would be mutually beneficial for both animals and humans. After hours of research, the team voted to help the honey bees with the dreaded varroa mite, which is decreasing their numbers drastically.
The Work Begins
With their honey bee focus chosen, the StormBots still had more hours of research ahead of them. They learned
how dependent mankind is on the honey bee and all the many challenges the honey bees currently face. While researching honey bees, students were also getting an education in working with others. “I really enjoyed working with a team-- working with different people--and the teamwork of the StormBots,” said Madelyn Beatty.
Keaton McCollum added, “It’s fun learning new skills--working together and how to add your ideas together.”
Over and over again the students brought up the fun they had while learning science, technology, engineering, and math to solve problems. As they applied critical thinking to the problems before them, they learn valuable life skills, plus being able to be creative.
“It was great to collaborate and awesome to win the big award!” said Sarah Sanabia,"Nine kids who had never been on a team before and we won!
“Mrs. Stone and I have stressed throughout the semester that there is no “I” in team,” said Mrs. Garner, “Although this can be a tough concept with ten intelligent students who all want to show what they can do, they have learned that as a team they are accomplishing so much more than they ever could individually. It has been a gift to guide them and then stand back and be amazed at what they have accomplished.”
“It’s fun learning new skills--working together and how to add your ideas together.”
Core Values of a LEGO Team
- We are a team.
- We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
- We know our coaches and mentors don't have all the answers; we learn together.
- We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
- What we discover is more important than what we win.
- We share our experiences with others.
- We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
- We have FUN!
“Each robotics session began in prayer, and a consistent prayer has been to help us work together as a team, to display godly character, and give the glory to Him,” said Garner, “God is good, and we are seeing Him move in this group. He has blessed us so richly with students who have a broad range of talents in building, engineering, programming, peacemaking, scientific thinking, creative thinking, acting, and more!
For more information about the program, click here, First LEGO League.