RICHMOND, Va. — When you think of science, perhaps sports isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind.
But don’t tell that to the students of Team Clueless at Saint Bridget Middle School.
"The sports environment," described Instructional Technology Specialist Eric De Boer. “Working together as a team. The competition. That thrill. That adrenaline to a STEM-minded kid."
Team Clueless is the only team from the Virginia and D.C. area to advance to the First LEGO League World Championships in Houston, Texas this spring.
"The competition involves robots, where they have to build them out of LEGO pieces entirely," De Boer explained. "And they have to build a robot to solve various missions on the board. They have two and half minutes to get as many points as possible."
Eighth-grader Langdon Tollet said she loves STEM.
“I get to create basically anything I want and do different types of projects with it. And it allows me to pursue different ideas I have and have the resources I need to get these ideas into action."
During the regional championships in December, the 10-member team earned the highest robot score out of 72 teams.
"They can't touch the robot once it leaves home," said De Boer. “They have to go and have it programmed to use different sensors. Like a light sensor to follow a line or maybe it's going to use a touch sensor or an ultrasonic sensor to see how far away it is from an object."
The competition combines creative thinking with hands-on learning. It's a team effort for STEM vets and rookies.
"Having new members come in is always fun," said Langdon. “Getting to learn with them and grow. And it's really great to be a part of such a huge team."
"I'm a coach and we're problem solving this together," said De Boer. “And we can work as a team to help solve the problem."
Building that kind of teamwork is Building Better Minds.
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