For the past several years, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge has participated in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition as part of our robotics program on campus. On Saturday, November 12th, our middle school FLL team competed in the regional qualifier at Woodlawn High School. Our team placed 8 out of 14 in the robotics game portion on the event. This was not high enough to qualify for the state tournament and the students were extremely disappointed. At the end of the event when they were calling the names of the six qualifying teams, they announced our name. The students were beyond excited! After talking to the judges we found out that our team did so well on the morning judging sessions we bumped two higher teams out of the running. The morning judging sessions measure things like how well we work together as a team, how much planning and research went into our project, and how we treat other teams and each other. I couldn't be prouder to work with a group of students who according the judges, "worked with other teams and had a high respect for all."
These 8 students, Shreya Kamath, Grant Palma, Mia Pulliam, Carter McLean, Meredith Thompson, Scott McAdams, J'nea Steiner, and Jaden Dupree overcame many obstacles including having their competition materials and work space flooded, shortening our preparation time. Mrs. Day and I would like to thank several people who helped our team on the road to state. Thank you so much to Catherine Word for letting us use the lower school library while Penniman was repaired. Thank you to Charlene Thompson and LEIDOS for your mentoring and sponsorship of the team. Thank you to all of the team parents for volunteering your time to help make this season great. Thank you to the Parent's Guild for donating to the STEAM Lab making it a great space with everything we need to practice and be successful. Our state competition is December 10th at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans. Wish us luck!
Elizabeth "Betsy" Minton is the Science, Math and Creativity Instigator at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. She enriches instruction by generating interdisciplinary curriculum, spearheading hands-on, project-based learning and supporting faculty in the application of STEM education standards. In addition, she coaches the middle school robotics team and facilitates the middle school MakerSpace. She has over a decade of elementary classroom experience in general and special education with graduate coursework in literacy, special education, and technology integration. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Bates College and was a 2002 Teach for America Corps Member.