Challenge accepted: Knox students place at regional robotics competition

Students from Knox County and Lynn Camp middle schools demonstrated new ways of learning using robotics during the annual First Robotics Competition held in Hazard.

Fourteen teams representing eastern Kentucky gathered at the Challenger Learning Center on November 22nd to build LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. The teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, competed against one another while demonstrating learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills.

Knox Middle’s team, the Mind Masters, took overall top honors at the event and will now advance to the state competition to be held February 7th at Northern Kentucky University.

The Knox Middle team consisted of Grace Evans, Leanna Osborne, Lacey Troutman, Hannah Daniels, Savannah Ross, Peyton Payne, Abram Mills, and Nick Ore.

Earning fifth place overall honors, including first in the region in core values, was the team from Lynn Camp Middle.   Their team was made up of members Ashton Gregory, Cody Hendrix, Saxton Crawford, Abigail Sharp, Lori Mullins, Bethany Smith, Emileigh Sasser, and Matt Disney.  The team has qualified as alternates with the possibility of attending the state conference should a top finisher be unable to attend.

For robotics coach Robin Burr at Lynn Camp, she focused the team on tackling the challenge like they would any other assignment.

“I approached it like I do my classroom and just focused on rigor relevance and pushing them as far as they could go,” stated Burr.

Coach Travis Mills of the Knox Middle team echoed similar thoughts, sharing that the goal of the lesson is to show students that through teamwork, collaboration, and critical thinking, they can accomplish anything they put their minds too.

First Robotics was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.