Perry Central robotics engineers excel at Lego League contest

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LEOPOLD – A group of Perry Central students did well in their first year of participating in a  Lego League contest.

The competition was held at the University of Southern Indiana Nov. 9.  A team of 10 students in grades 4-6 took part and met during their school’s Lights-On Program after school two days a week to design, build and  program their robot. They also had to build the Lego models of the tasks that the robot would have to accomplish. In addition to the robot game, students had to come up with an idea to solve a problem relating to natural disasters,  this year’s theme.

During the season, the team took a field trip to the  Toyota production facility in Princeton to see robots working in a real-world setting, and they Skyped with Jeff Lyons from Channel 14 about tornadoes and tornado safety
“Students had to do this all on  their own and parents, spectators and coaches are not allowed in the judging  rooms,” team coach Kris Walsh said.

The team was judged in the areas of teamwork, sharing what they have learned, good sportsmanship and working with others, and team spirit and robot design.

Students came up with an idea to build a tent that could keep people safe from blowing debris if caught in a tornado while outdoors.

After the judging sessions,  students participated in a robot game where their robot has to perform tasks  to earn points.

“Out of 12 teams participating, our students earned sixth place in the robot  game, fourth place on their project, second place in core values, and first place for  robot design. Our place was high enough to qualify for state finals, but we  needed to rank fourth or higher in the robot game,” said Walsh. “It was a great experience and  the kids had a lot of fun. We are already looking forward to it next year.”