Wildcats Are State-Bound

Coached by Emily Dill and Elizabeth Mitchell, the robotics team of third, fourth, and fifth grade students from Glenn O. Swing Elementary School’s Wildcat Club CLC participated in the FIRST LEGO League regional competition last month. 

As participants of the competition and the program overall, students apply their STEM skills combined with critical thinking to work as a team, design and build a robot, present their robot design and innovation project to a panel of judges, and compete in a mission-based robotics game. At the competition, students had three attempts at the missions table with their robot. Team GOS was consistent, scoring 160 during each attempt.

It was their presentation that brought it home, though. Worth the majority of points (75%), the GOS students soared to the leaderboard after presenting their virtual reality soccer exhibition to a panel of judges. 

Their idea? To provide the ultimate soccer experience to as many people as possible through an exhibit featuring the combination of real and virtual reality experiences. Students created a large diorama to represent a soccer stadium, even thinking of the smells of popcorn and fresh cut grass in their design. Within the exhibit, soccer fans would be able to play as a real soccer player on a turf field and attempt to score a goal against a robotic goalie. With the help of VR, fans feel what it's really like to be at and even in a game, including a 360-degree view of a stadium crowd, surround sound speakers featuring cheers and whistles, and VR interactions with coaches, referees, and other players.

The team received the Best Robot Design Award at the regional competition and moves on to the state tournament at Northern Kentucky University on February 17, 2024. NKU has hosted the state tournament since 2012, and this will be the second year in a row Team GOS has advanced to the state competition. Complete with judges, referees, robots, friendly competition, and awards, it will be a thrilling experience for the students.

“Having coached the team for the last two years, I can say that this is more than just a competition for our students. Our students learn so much through this experience that will follow them through life: perseverance, innovation, teamwork, fun, and the value of friendship. It has been a true joy to watch our students transform through critical thinking and collaborative relationships, and we are so proud of them for making it to state two years in a row!” Coach Mitchell said of the experience. 

Congratulations to the Glenn O. Swing Wildcat Club, and good luck at the state tournament!

Category: Education
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