Teamwork and problem solving prepares Knox students for competition

Building a robot has turned into a teamwork and problem solving lesson for Knox County and Lynn Camp middle school students as the teams prepare for the First Robotics Lego League competition to be held in Hazard on November 22nd.

Students from the district’s two middle schools have joined together to collaborate on the competition, which has resulted in many hours after school researching and preparing. In doing so, they are reaching out to the community to demonstrate the core values of First Robotics, which focus on student development and cooperation.

“This competition has really challenged us to come together as a team and not focus on our own agendas,” says Leanna Osborne, an eighth grade student at Knox Middle.

Each student has a different task to complete which keeps them engaged in the experience, with many of them staying after school to complete the project.

“Once you learn the logistics of the competition, it’s fun!” says Grace Evans, an eighth grade student at Knox Middle.

Evans and other members of the Knox middle school team have learned that the competition is not all about winning. The competition demands that they learn how to work together as a team. Although building the robot is fun, the main goal is to reach out to others in the school and community to convey their solution to the problem. The project requires teamwork, cooperation, individual skills, and professionalism to complete the project.

One part of the competition requires students to research and develop a solution to the way people learn. The team was asked to choose a specific topic and then create an innovative way that people could learn that topic. After doing research and developing a solution to the problem, the next challenge is to present the solution to various members of the community that could have an invested interest in their idea.

The students researched the idea of how to help elementary and middle school students learn and easily remember the state capitols. They then presented their solution to educational administrators in the Knox County Public Schools.

According to Travis Mills, coach of the Lego Robotics at Knox Middle, 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. Mills hopes that the team’s participation in the First Robotics League competition will challenge students academically and socially.

“So far, this has been, and will continue to be, a great opportunity for the students of this region,” says Mills.

Knox County and Lynn Camp middle students will compete against other teams from eastern and southeastern Kentucky at the Challenger Learning Center.