Middle School robotics teams astound at State

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Six Jackson Hole Middle School students competed this weekend as two FLL Teams in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Challenge 15th Annual Wyoming State Championships held in Casper at the Casper Events Center on Saturday.

The JHMS RoboBroncs Black Robot Knights and Thunder Wolves competed along with some 56 student robot teams from around Wyoming in the state championship this year.

Team 48084 (Black Robot Knights) scored a 3rd place trophy for Engineering Research. (Courtesy)

“They have been preparing for months for this event,” said head coach Jake Schell. “The competition is designed to teach skills like teamwork along with STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and math.”

It was an outstanding showing this year for the JH robot teams; their best performance ever, actually, at State.

“The Black Robot Knights rocked a team best 260 in heated competition,” Schell said. “They took 4th place overall, even beating our FLL robot rivals from Buffalo for the first time ever.

FIRST LEGO League gives students the chance to develop, design, build, and code LEGO Education MINDSTORMS EV3 robots to perform autonomous “missions” on a themed playing field and design innovative solutions to a real-world problem inspired by an annual theme. FIRST LEGO League (for ages 9-14) focuses on solving real-world problems such as surviving in space, food safety, recycling, energy, and more using STEM concepts, plus a big dose of fun.

JH FLL Team Thunderwolves in competition bout in Casper.
L to R: Khiarah Baca is confident as Marlee Beech sends their bot into action. Teammate Tavis Thompson, not shown. Coach Nick Bath stands ringside. Courtesy photo

In the 2019 FLL Theme “City Shaper” students must plan for the future observing how cities and buildings grow, thrive, and change to create new, innovative solutions to help shape an optimal future, using environment and modern-day tools and technology to make it last.

Besides the robot bout rounds, teams are formally judged on the their robot design, a group project based on this year’s competition theme of “City Shaper,” and the FIRST LEGO league Core Values, which include teamwork and professionalism.

“Our Team 48084 (Black Robot Knights) did a City Shaper Team Project to rethink the safety and parking lot traffic flow of students and vehicles at JHMS,” Schell shared. “They won 3rd place for Engineering Research with a big trophy and smiles to go along with it!”

Center Stage at Casper Events Center: (L-R) Head Coaches Jake Schell, Nick Bath
Team Black Robot Knights: Zach Johnson, Rigdon Hammond, Bryson Rhodes. Courtesy photo

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