PITSBURG— The Franklin-Monroe Elementary School Lego League is set to compete in the Ohio FIRST LEGO League Challenge State qualifier this weekend.
The Franlin-Monroe program was created four years ago by guidance counselor and lego league co-coach Dr. Lisa Wendel, as a way for students to get involved outside of the classroom.
Since then, sixth grade math and science teacher Brian Happy joined the team as co-coach. The current team is made up of eight students in fifth and sixth grade.
Happy said the greatest thing about the program is that it challenges students.
“It’s a lot of trial and error,” he said. “To see some of those kids that usually naturally get it, all of a sudden they’re having to learn how to deal with failure. To learn how to change, how to make things better and going through the engineer and design process of making things better. It can get very frustrating for some of them, because like I said, normally they get things naturally and it comes easy to them. Now, all of a sudden they’re in a situation where they have to think on their toes. There’s a lot of team work that goes into it.”
The Ohio FIRST LEGO League Challenge competitions are made up of two parts. The team will present a research project and participate in a robotics game portion.
The research project must coincide with the theme of “cargo connect,” which means the team must come up with an innovative way to increase productivity or transportation of goods and services using a LEGO robot. For the robotics portion, the team is given a game board and missions to complete using a LEGO robot, which the team has designed and programmed themselves.
About two weeks ago, the team competed via Zoom call against 20 teams in the state semi-finals and finished eighth. If the team qualifies this Saturday, they will compete at the Ohio FIRST LEGO League Challenge State Championship on Saturday, March 5.