Middle School Lego Robotics students learning through collaboration, competition

Isabelle and Alex teaching a mini-lesson on introductory programming skills.

In RPA Middle School’s Lego Robotics, a Wednesday enrichment class, students are divided into teams of 2-4 students, all working towards a competitive goal held in December. 

At the beginning of the semester, students received a challenge course along with missions to complete. Student teams are now working together to build the mission models, and attach them to the challenge course. They then need to build and program their robots to accomplish as many of those challenges as possible.

Kaleo Post, an 8th-grade student, enjoys robotics because “it gets the creative juices flowing!” Bronson Waldemer, another 8th-grade robotics student, said he thinks robotics is “fun, creative, entertaining, and challenging.”

Several teams will be heading to the regional Oregon Robotics Qualifying Tournament in Bend on December 9. They will compete against other teams in Central Oregon by demonstrating their programming, engineering, public speaking and teamwork skills.

(From left to right) Keller Sharp, Clayton Cabral, Atticus Fairbanks, and Jackson McCabe test their robots on the challenge course. Alex Larson observes so he can provide feedback to the students.

RPA Middle is one of the only schools in the region where high school students coach the middle school students. High schoolers Alex Larson and Isabelle Kizans travel to the middle school every Wednesday to support the growth of our robotics program at RPA. 

Isabelle specifically wanted to help coach middle school students, saying, “It’s important to me. I always thought it was a boy thing and I am really passionate about encouraging more women in STEM.”

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