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Lego Robots Take Over Southeast Campus

Jen Gradl

Southeast Missouri State University hosted a FIRST Lego League on Nov. 15.

The competition allowed children ages 9 -14 to research and build a robot to solve education themed missions.

“The kids are doing research and coming up with a way they would have rather been taught or that they think would be a really fun way to be taught,” event manager Laura Roth said. “Somebody I saw go by today with keyboarding. Somebody else is doing cloud identification.”

Anna Duncan from St. Louis said her team created an Archipark, which is a model for kids to learn about architecture.

“We created a magnificent materials area, colorful cultures, a bridge builder, locks and dams, and a three puzzling and a technodome,” Duncan said.

Lauren Keeley said the technodome consists of three stations.

“One of them is the sustainable design station,” Keeley said.” It regenerates a non eco-friendly house and the child works with an energy usage goal to change the house to be more eco-friendly.”

The other two stations consist of a sound exhibit and a cross discipline station.

“It has six kids and they each get a job that has to do with building a building and then they come out a screen tells them instructions and they build a house using their different jobs.”

Roth said 23 out of approximately 200 teams from the Eastern Missouri region attended the event and the teams are judged on a variety of areas.

"They present their project to some judges,” Roth said. “They do another judging that’s on the robot design, independent of the table, they take the robot in and explain how they built it, how they programmed it, what they were trying to accomplish and they have another judging session that’s called core values.”

Roth said the core values category is an emphasis to ensure the children are the ones who have completed the work and they have learned throughout the process.

The children also take their robots to the table for three rounds where they are challenged to complete a variety of tasks within a two and a half minute period to see how well their robot performs.

The robots are scored and awarded in five different categories and three teams will advance to the Eastern Missouri Championship that will be held in December.

Jen Gradl was a student reporter at KRCU in 2014.