The TechnoKnights spent Saturday, December 10th at Holy Cross in New Orleans competing in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Tournament. They qualified for the event in November earlier this year. Sixty teams from across the state participated. The students were judged in four areas: core-values, the project, robot design, and the robot game. The theme this year was Animal Allies. FLL teams were challenged to design an innovative solution to a problem between animals and humans. Our team chose to create a PSA to help stop rain forest destruction and the habitat fragmentation of Capuchin monkeys. In core-values they had to complete a team-building exercise and answer questions about team-work and other aspects of their character. They then presented their robot and programs they wrote to the judges who asked really tough questions about their design and why they made certain decisions. The final component of the day was the robot game. Teams were pitted against each other in three 2.5 minute matches. The goal was to complete as many missions as you could in order to score points before time ran out. Our drivers kept a level head and persevered through some technical challenges to score a respectable 36 points.
While the kids were disappointed not to score higher, they ended the day on a high note. Our team won a coveted Judges Award. This is the 2nd year in a row this team has won an award at the state level. Please congratulate Mia Pulliam, Shreya Kamath, Carter McLean, Grant Palma, Meredith Thompson, and J’nea Steiner for a job well done. The team would also like to recognize two of their other team mates Scott McAdams and Jaden Dupree who competed with them in the qualifying event, contributing greatly to our success at state. Thank you to LEIDOS and the Parents’ Guild for your ongoing support of the robotics program here at Episcopal. Coach Virginia Day and I look forward to great things from this team in the years to come.
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.