After finishing among the top 13 teams in the State Qualifying Tournament, eight dedicated science students at Gilbert Stuart Elementary School have advanced to the FIRST Lego League state robotics championship to be held on January 17 at Roger Williams University in Bristol.
First Lego League Robotics is an after-school program that encourages students to work as a team to develop innovative solutions to practical problems through the integration of STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Students use Legos to build robots and licensed Lego software to program them for a robot game, where they compete against other teams to complete as many “missions” or tasks on an obstacle course as possible within a limited timeframe.
The team began their first round of competition beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 6 as they joined Principal Edward Lee and Robotics Team Coaches Dan Villiard and Curtis Mathieu, along with science teacher Martha Lawson at Gordon School in Providence. According to Lee, the new robotics team of first-year members worked very hard and were prepared for the competition but were realistic about their chances since they were competing against 27 public and private schools.
The team advanced to the state competition after attaining their highest scores in their presentation before a panel of judges. They articulately explained their project based on creating a universal language using emojis, small icons used on phones. They also scored high on core values, question and answering and received points for robot design.
The school celebrated with a public announcement of congratulations during morning announcements. The team poster was placed in the main foyer of the school and each team member received an individual certificate of recognition.