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Horizon teams excel at FLL robotics meet

Students on the Redstone Reactors team are (in random order) Nick Bowerman, Ryan Farmer, Kendall Lamb, Aidan Lay, Baylin Navarro, Nathan Shipley and Parker Webb. (CONTRIBUTED)
Students on the Redstone Reactors team are (in random order) Nick Bowerman, Ryan Farmer, Kendall Lamb, Aidan Lay, Baylin Navarro, Nathan Shipley and Parker Webb. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Horizon Thunderbots include Graham Jones, (front, from left), Darius (D.J.) Johnson, Gabe Franz-Colon, Ethan Bordelon and Ari Prapiadis. and (back, from left) Coach Aaron Franz, Byron Headrick, Michael Cox and Coach Philip Jones. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Horizon Thunderbots include Graham Jones, (front, from left), Darius (D.J.) Johnson, Gabe Franz-Colon, Ethan Bordelon and Ari Prapiadis. and (back, from left) Coach Aaron Franz, Byron Headrick, Michael Cox and Coach Philip Jones. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Horizon Elementary School’s two robotics teams brought home second-place awards from the Alabama State FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Tournament.

The state meet was held at Grissom High School on Jan. 25 with 33 teams. Dana Hobbs serves as director of the Alabama FLL Tournament.

“Horizon is thrilled and delighted that our teams both brought home trophies,” Horizon robotics coach and enrichment specialist Beth Bero said. “We are very proud of our students.”

“Students worked on a solution to a stated problem from September until December. This year’s theme was Nature’s Fury,” Bero said.

Redstone Reactors members are Nick Bowerman, Ryan Farmer, Kendall Lamb, Aidan Lay, Baylin Navarro, Nathan Shipley and Parker Webb.

The Thunderbots won second place in “Inspiration,” while the Redstone Reactors won second place in “Teamwork.”

Horizon’s Thunderbots team includes Ethan Bordelon, Gabe Franz-Colon, Michael Cox, Byron Headrick, Graham Jones, D.J. Johnson and Ari Prapiadis.

Team members designed and built a robot, researched the power of natural phenomena and solved the problem. “They then presented to a real-world audience and later the judges,” Bero said. Both teams used a new robot, EV3.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) sponsored the teams, and parents who work at SAIC were coaches. The competition venues were core values (or teamwork), robot performance, robot design and research presentation.

Hampton Cove Middle School’s team Pandamonium rated first overall and will represent Alabama at the world competition.

For two years, Horizon parents Elaine Farmer with the Redstone Reactors and Phillip Jones with the Horizon Thunderbots have coached teams for Horizon. Jeff Farmer and Aaron Franz assisted these groups.

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