Since its inception eleven years ago, the Middle School of Plainville (MSP) has had teams involved in LEGO League. They have had a history of success, and this year is proving to be one of the most successful to date. This is the first year three teams from the middle school traveled to the state championships held on December 13 at Central Connecticut State University, where Team Gearheads won first place for Innovative Robot Design and a $200 prize from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
To compete in a LEGO League tournament, each team must design, build and program a robot in addition to creating a five minute presentation which relates to this year's theme of transportation. LEGO League allows students to apply real-world math and science concepts and learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills.
Earlier this year, the MSP teams competed in two regional tournaments to earn "golden tickets" in order to advance to the state level. At the Ragged Mountain tournament held in November at McGee Middle School in Berlin, Team Gear Heads won the "People’s Choice" award. This is awarded to the team that demonstrates the understanding and good practices of the wonders of science, technology, and engineering, while also demonstrating teamwork, spirit, and the thrill of competition. This team was chosen by the 23 other teams present at the competition and the award goes to the team that best represents the spirit of F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). "I felt really great about winning this award because it was such an honor to be chosen by other teams. I wanted to thank our coach, Camille Westfall, for all the encouragement that she gives us," said eighth grader Nick Violette. Members of MSP Team RoboMatics won the "Teamwork" award and a golden ticket. Teamwork is critical to succeed in F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League and is the key ingredient in any team effort. This award is presented to the team that best demonstrates extraordinary enthusiasm, an exceptional partnership, and the practice of LEGO League values.
At the LEGO Systems regional tournament held December 5 at the Enfield LEGO facility, Team Greenstorm won the "Gracious Professionalism" award. Gracious professionals learn and compete intensely, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.
"The students have done an incredible job and I am so proud of every one of them," said Camille Westfall, Technology Education teacher and LEGO League Team Coach at MSP.
"The entire Plainville Community should be proud of these students. They have represented us with intelligence, poise, integrity and sensitivity. They are an exceptional group of young people," noted Middle School of Plainville Principal, Matthew Guarino.
-Posted on January 7, 2010 at 02:14 PM
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