Toledo Elementary Lego Robotics team went to Intel Oregon First Lego League Championship Tournament on January 14 in Hillsboro, Oregon. Students were invited to the event after they won in a project design category at a qualifying event. Only 30% of teams who qualify are then invited to attend the State level tournament. First Lego League is a science, technology, engineering, and math program for a team of 3 to 10 members in 4th-8th grades. The competitive season begins in late August when the new scientific theme is revealed. Toledo Elementary students came up with a real world scenario based upon solutions they developed to assist with wastewater treatment using recycled plastic to line pipes.
The team, consisting of mostly 5th graders and one 4th grader have been meeting since September and working on their project. The team went to the Toledo Water Treatment plant and talked to Matt Mac Phail, Sr. Operator, and he said that pipe replacement is a big problem. The pipes in Toledo have not been replaced and they fall apart, then rain water gets in and it floods. Right now the Toledo water treatment plant is doing a partial treatment bypass when there’s too much water because of rain. The robotics team came up with a solution of taking recycled plastic and turning it into pipes. David J. White, Professor of Engineering at Iowa State, was the person who first came up with the idea.
They worked with the recyclers that have the plastic recycling that China will not take anymore. This not only helps the environment but also keep costs down because it’s local. Lincoln County School District is proud of the students engaging in these activities. Superintendent Tom Rinearson said the students are the future engineers and problem solvers. He added that he is impressed that the youth are coming up with some innovative solutions to today’s issues. Toledo Elementary Students won a participation medal for the team and all hope to be back next year.
Members include Robert Wagner, Finley Miller-Morgan, Ahren Harris, Mason Chamberlain, Daniel Roeser, and Halli Lane-Skauge who are all fifth graders except Mason who is in 4th grade.
When asked what was your favorite part of Lego Robotics?
Ahren Harris, “I liked watching the other teams’ robots at the competition and reading about their projects.”
Mason Chamberlain, “I liked being the pit and programming at the competition, seeing how the programs work.”
Robert Wagner, “Being together with everybody.”
Finley Miller-Morgan, “I liked reading all the other projects. I went around and asked and they had some pretty cool ideas, like controlling the water with your phone.”
Daniel Roeser, “Being able to explore the world of Lego Robotics and programming.”
Halli Lane-Skauge, “Learning how to program, and learning new and interesting things about our problem. I didn’t know that it was actually possible to make pipes out of recycled plastic.”
What is one thing you learned?
Ahren and Mason, “How to program.”
Daniel, “How to program a Lego robot.”
Finley, “About teamwork and how we can use all our skills and what we know about Legos, and we can all pitch in with our skills and build a robot.”
Robert, “I learned that there’s multiple different ways to make stuff out of Legos, instead of just normal things. I know about the Lego Robotics brick, but I didn’t know how in depth and big you can make your robot.”
Mason, “Having your Legos and robots together is really cool. And I think programming is really fun.”
Information and photos provided by LCSD