Local students win spirit award at regional robotics competition

Published 11:03 am Friday, December 21, 2012

Three teams from Austin Public Schools participated in the Southeastern Regional FIRST Lego League Robotics Competition at Rochester Technical and Community College. Each team comprised 10 students grades four and five from Southgate, Neveln and Banfield elementary schools.

“Overall, it went really well,” said David Wolff, Gifted and Talented coordinator with Austin Public Schools.

Judges evaluated the 32 teams at the competition in six different categories, including robot performance, the presentation of research and programming and design. While the teams did not place in project or technical judging, the Southgate Elementary team won the award for team spirit.

Email newsletter signup

“We have taken that award three years in a row now,” Wolff said, adding it represented enthusiasm and respect for the other teams.

The missions focused on coming up with ways to help seniors live a more healthy and independent lifestyle. One such task, for example, involved building a robot that could sense the difference in colors between medication bottles and choose the right one.

While many competing teams were from school clubs, there were also groups from other places, such as 4-H or local churches.

“We were competing against kids quite a bit older than us,” Wolff said.

Austin students can apply to be in the robotics program as an after-school club.