Bionic Bunch’s teamwork builds success in robotics competition

NNS Lego Project Winners

Designing and assembling Lego robotic constructions to solve engineering challenges is only part of the blueprint for success in the First Lego League competition. Building teamwork is just as important, as Nikiski Elementary School’s team demonstrated in the Jan. 15 statewide robotics tournament.

The school’s Bionic Bunch team was awarded second place in the teamwork category in the statewide competition in Anchorage, with over 40 teams participating.

Teamwork is one of the four main areas evaluated in the event, along with robot performance, robot design and project presentation.NNS Lego Project Team

First Lego League was designed nearly 20 years ago as a way to engage students in math and science by introducing them to real-world engineering challenges well before they reach high school. Students work with their teams to imagine and build robots out of Legos to complete engineering tasks. In doing so, they also build self-confidence in being able to face a problem, work together to brainstorm solutions and carry them out. The interest and experience they gain in math, science and technology can widen their horizons for further education and career possibilities after high school.

The Bionic Bunch team included Nikiski North Star students Braden Ellis, Skylynne McCaughey, Abigayle Tuttle, Lochlan Quiner and Andrew Pennison. Their coach, Quest teacher Brian Bailey, said he was pleased to have his crew recognized in the teamwork category.

“The teamwork awards recognize those teams that show excellent problem-solving, responsibility in team members goals, gracious professionalism, confidence, and enthusiasm,” Bailey said. “As their Lego League coach, I appreciated how these students spent over two months preparing for the tournament, and put in a lot of after-school time for their team.”

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