IMS students advance to state robotics competition

Students from Islander Middle School recently won two awards in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition, including earning the right to advance to the state semifinal tournament on Feb. 8 in the Seattle area.

In the qualifier competition that lasted more than eight hours, IMS students took home an award for teams performing well in each of four content categories: robot design, project, core values and robot game. They also received the Core Values Inspiration award, given to teams showing exemplary conduct throughout the competition, including positive attitude, character on and off the robot field and gracious professionalism.

“It is wonderful to see our students engaging in such an exciting way with science and technology,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano. “We’re all proud of this team and look forward to seeing them competing in the state tournament.”

The FLL is a robotics program for 9 to 14-year-olds that is designed to get students excited about science and technology while teaching them valuable employment and life skills. There are three primary activities: 1) build and program a small robot to accomplish challenges, 2) investigate a research topic then prepare a presentation, and 3) build a team around the FLL Core Values. All of these activities culminate in a competition with other teams at a regional tournament.

Robot challenges are the most visible aspect of the competition. Robots are built and programmed to perform different tasks on a 4' by 8' printed vinyl playing mat. The robot interacts with specialized LEGO parts that represent the tasks.

These students represented all three grades at IMS:

Mallory Nichol, captain, grade 7

Owen Kovarik, captain, grade 8

Sam Bailey, captain, grade 8

Aedan Tien, grade 7

Alanna Deal, grade 6

Bridget Navarro, grade 7

Ethan Schwartz, grade 7

Helen Olson, grade 6

Leonard Jung, grade 6

Liam McLeod, grade 6



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