Lego Robotics helps Knox students build teamwork and problem solving skills

Building a robot has turned into a teamwork and problem solving lesson for Knox County’s middle school students as teams prepare for the First Robotics League competition to be held in Hazard on December 15.

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Students from Knox County Middle and Lynn Camp Middle have been working hard to build a robot while reaching out to the community to demonstrate core values of the First Lego League which focus on student development.

“This is the first year Knox Middle has implemented the robotics program and it has been a huge success with the students,” said engineering teacher Travis Mills.

Mills said that each student participant has enjoyed the experience, with many of them staying after school to complete the project.

“Once you learn how the robotics work and the rules of the game, it is really fun,” said John Garrison, an eighth grade student at Knox County Middle.

Garrison and others have learned that the competition is not all about building robots, rather it is about reaching out to others. The project requires students to use teamwork, cooperation, and individual skills and talent to complete each given task.

One part of the competition requires students to research a solution to a problem that senior citizens face each day. After compiling research and developing a solution, the next challenge is to present that solution to various members of the community that have an invested interest in the problem.

The Knox Middle team researched the problem of hearing loss and brain stormed possible innovative solutions. Next, they met with representatives from Union College’s Nursing and Social Work program to present their ideas for feedback.

According to Mills, the goal of the lesson is to show students that through collaboration and critical thinking, that they can accomplish anything they put their minds too.

“This competition has really challenged us to work together and listen to each other,” said Addison Osborne, an eighth grade student.

“We have become a better team and better individuals because of this competition.”

Mills hopes that the team’s participation in the First Robotics League competition will challenge students academically and socially.

“This has been, and will continue to be, a great opportunity for the kids of this region to become 21st century learners,” said Mills.

Knox County’s teams will compete against others from eastern and southern Kentucky at the Challenger Learning Center.