Valley robotics teams prepare for 2023 season |  News, sports, jobs

Valley Students Start Robotics Competition | News, sports, jobs

WARREN – FIRST LEGO League competitors put their robotics and programming skills to the test in a regional tournament at Warren G. Harding High School.

Warren, Austintown and Girard teams will compete in the same regional events this year.

The league, for students in grades four through eight, has teams build and program smaller robots that are required to complete several tasks on a large table where various challenges are set up.

The Northeast Ohio First Robotics Alliance event was hosted by Warren’s team, and was co-sponsored by Girard’s team. The high school teams will prepare for their freshman season in January.

The LEGO League has 17 teams competing

Gerrard’s team will compete virtually in the spring.

Austin Town coach Brian Goodsen said he has a new team of fourth through sixth contenders. The bot is allowed up to 2.5 minutes to complete as many challenges as possible.

“It’s my first time training and my first time competing, so we’re all learning,” said Goodsen.

The LEGO League allows kids to gain teamwork and research skills, said Janet Yants, Austin Town Associate Coach.

This program helps children build skills they can acquire in robotics or higher-level engineering. “Even if they don’t get into engineering, it helps them learn practical problem-solving skills,” she said.

robot tasks

Building and programming the robot are the most challenging parts of the competition, said team member Camron Holub, 12, a sixth grader.

“Our robot’s job is to finish tasks. This robot can grab things and back off,” Holub said.

Team member Rylan Dean, 11, a sixth grader, said he loves experimenting with LEGO and seeing what he can create.

Goodson said the team learned about the 12 tasks and got a robot programmed to do as many tasks as possible.

He said the robot completes one task after another to score points.

Team member Eric Venable, 12, sixth grade, said that the robot must complete one task in order to get to the next,

“It’s fun to see the robot move,” he said.

warrior team

Warren City Schools coach Amanda Colbert said the team has been competing in the LEGO League for six years. Team members are in grades four through eight.

“I have many new members this year,” she said.

Colbert said the team had some “hiccups” but quickly managed to score more than 200 points.

Cameron Colbert, 10, a fifth grader, said the team is learning the best ways to program the robot to do what’s needed.

Amari Martin, 13, eighth grader, said the team should do a skit as part of a competition with members dressed as the Avengers.

Twin sisters Alex and Autumn Dykes, both in fourth grade, are celebrating their first time on the team.

The most fun part, they said, was seeing the robot move quickly around the table, trying to get as many points as possible.

“It’s going so fast,” said Autumn.

Amanda Colbert said that when the twins wear their masks, it’s often hard to tell them apart.

LEGO League middle school students learn about engineering, design and programming, said Warren Harding FIRST Robotics coach Frank Bosack.

They learn these skills using something they know about LEGO. They learn to build and program a smaller robot.

The teams that qualify in the regional event will compete in the state event in Cleveland in February and the region event in Dayton, Bousack said. World Championships in April.

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