EATON — The community Lego League robotics team, the TechKnowLogics, qualified for state competition on Sunday, March 6, and attended the competition virtually.
Lego robotics takes a problem and solves it using technology.
Coached by Tracy Martz, the team won at the qualifier and district levels before moving on to compete at the state level.
Members of the team include Carson Alexander, 8th grade; Olivia Bradley, 7th grade; Michael Fomin, 7th grade; Emma Pierce, 7th grade; Jake Schaurer, 7th grade and Tony Fomin, 6th grade.
The competition was not easy, according to Martz. The students were presented with a real-life problem and were asked how to fix it. The problem, called “Cargo Connect,” depicted the issue of getting products off a cargo ship and disbursing them to the right locations.
The TechKnowLogics’ solution was to create drones which could pick up the products and deliver them to various locations. The team members then had to show a prototype of their invention and explain the attachments, sensors, and how it could be incorporated in normal life.
The team members had to work together — not just amongst themselves — but with other teams they were competing against. The team had to learn and practice the skills of strategy, coding, problem solving, and robot design.
Aside from their competitions, the team members also have a lot of community engagement. Parents and students volunteer for the Whispering Christmas Committee for the annual Whispering Christmas light display at Fort St Clair. According to organizers, from this they learn how to speak in front of people, how to get out of their comfort zones, and how to work with people with whom they are unfamiliar.
The students have not only learned the basic skills needed to succeed as a team, but also a lot of tech knowledge — hence the name “TechKnowLogics.” The team learned coding by working with Legos, as well as how to break up the movement of steps to get through a small maze. They have also learned robotics from other teams and by watching videos.
The league began as a small team in 2007, but has grown in members and knowledge of technology. Organizers hope to continue recruiting new members each year to work to bring more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach to the community.