Evansville Day School’s Middle School Robotics took first and second place in University of Southern Indiana’s 10th annual LEGO Robotics Competition. The competition was held on Saturday, April 8, organized by the USI student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Approximately 25 teams from Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois gathered to compete.
This year’s challenge had a Viking theme. Teams had to design, build, and program a robot that could complete the course. In this particular challenge, success meant using a robot to deliver food to a dragon, take the gold, and deliver it safely to the ship. The teams were judged based on design, presentation, creativity, and team spirit.
Coach Eric Sogard refers to this event as his team’s “Super Bowl of Robotics." Sogard says, “For the past four years, we have captured first place three times, second twice and third twice. I think the real reason behind our success is that the kids view it as play versus pressure of doing well. I observe many coaches, ‘pushing’ their students, and I see the stress on their faces. I pride myself in allowing them to, ‘fail forward’ in practice.” Failing to success has certainly paid off, and the students love the challenge of robotics. Fifth grader Roman Nester adds, “I like robotics because you learn along the way, and you are working toward a goal.”
Robotics is certainly an ever-growing interest at Evansville Day School, and we continue to find ways to incorporate it in more aspects and at younger ages. It also promotes the characteristics we strive to develop in all of our graduates. The resilience and problem solving developed as students “fail forward” in robotics provide a strong foundation for them as they continue into adulthood. It also helps create entrepreneurial learners who will be better prepared to forge ahead and solve the problems of the future.
For more information about how robotics is at work at Evansville Day School, check out the spotlight article in our recent Eagle Pride Magazine.