Hackett Elementary students competed in a regional qualifier in December 2019 at the Don Tyson School of Innovation. The team won first place in regionals in Robot Performance (the most consistent robot) and first place for Engineering Excellence (the design and building of the robot). These awards qualified the team for state competition.
The state competition was held on Saturday, January 24 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. According to Hackett Elementary Principal Tura Bailey, the team finished in the top 10 for coding (out of 32 teams) and won first place for Innovation/Design.
“In First Lego League you compete in more than just coding,” explained Bailey. “You are given a problem to solve and are judged on your solution for the problem and core values; how well your team works together. This year’s problem we had to take a piece of unused land and provide a use for it for your community. Our team found unused land here on our campus and designed a walking trail with a bridge. The trail would be available for students, teachers and community members alike to use. This solution (walking trail and bridge) was what we won first place for. Our students used our 3D printer to make a replica for the bridge that would be used on the walking trail. Kyle Johnson and Automation Engineering were huge assets in helping us design the trail and bridge. So students compete in innovation, core values and robot performance. The robots must be coded to complete 10 tasks (points are based on how hard the tasks are) and you go head to head against three other teams. They keep your highest score out of the three games as your coding score.”
This is Hackett’s third year to compete in First Lego League, and the team has qualified for state all three years. Bailey added that they chose to compete in First Lego League as opposed to other robotics competitions because of the engineering and core values aspects of First Lego League. “This allows more children to participate; and isn’t just for those students who understand coding,” concluded Bailey.
Congratulations to the team of Westin Duboise, Evan Gordon, Kyndal Velosky, Jake Killian, Toby Holland, Matthew Garner, Ashlyn McClure, Rodney Stiles, Coty Reather, Christopher Elkins and Jhaselyn Gonzalez. Also to Wyatt Oliver, who was ill and unable to attend the competition.