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FRES LEGO robotics team competes for first time

By Special to the Sun-Courier

Southeast Sun
Birmingham, AL | December 6, 2013

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The Fort Rucker Elementary School LEGO robotics team competed for the first time in Birmingham Nov. 30.

Although Fort Rucker Elementary School has had a LEGO robotics lab for two years, this is the first year the school has created a LEGO robotics team.

The team competed in its first competition in the first LEGO League Robotics competition.

During the LEGO League competition there were three challenges for the team to compete in: The Robot Game, which consists of robot design and an obstacle course challenge, The Real World Research Project Challenge and the first LEGO League Core Values Challenge.

The Fort Rucker team won the Core Values award, which is given to the team that exhibits the best core values throughout all aspects of the competition.

“Winning this award says a great deal about the quality and character of our students,” said Dr. Vicki Gilmer, Fort Rucker Elementary School principal. “Each month we focus on an Army core value, and we have also focused on improving our problem solving skills. To win this award in our first competition was incredible.”

Team member and sixth grade student Abby Morris also said, “The core values were very important and they show that what we learn is more important than what we win.”

During the competition, the students were also given a problem-solving challenge task and were judged by how well they problem solve together and work as a team.

Gilmer said the team learned to appreciate each person's talent as a builder, programmer, writer and researcher.

The team also scored 175 points in its final competition obstacle run.

Each robot is given three separate obstacle course runs and the highest point value is taken.

Students must analyze the obstacle course, program the robot to maneuver through the obstacle course and perform certain tasks as the robot runs the course.

Prior to the competition, the FRES students worked in teams to design, program and test the NXT robot to do competition-type missions.

The FRES team built multiple models with attachments for different challenges.

The final competition robot was named “Storm Prowler.”

Gilmer said the Fort Rucker LEGO robotics team had a terrific first competition and looks forward to more in the future.

The FRES team consists of fifth and sixth grade students.  Those students are Kaleb Bryan, Abby Morris, Alyxandra Lucero, Kayla Nustad, Alyssa Griffith, Ryann Butterfield, Daniel Wilson, Blake Danley, Sam Boehm and Aubree Akers.

Team captain and team mentors are Donna Brecher, Warrant Officer 1 Travis Butterfield, Sgt. Kenneth Danley, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Castillo and Lynette Castillo.

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