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Horizon students get noticed in LEGO robotics

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Horizon Elementary School’s LEGO Robotics teams showed their own fervor for this year’s theme, “Nature’s Fury.”

“Of my four teams that competed at three different competitions on three separate weekends, two teams qualified for state,” Horizon robotics coach and enrichment specialist Beth Bero said. Grissom High School will host the state meet on Jan. 25.

At Horizon, LEGO Robotics is open to all fifth- and sixth-graders as an after-school program. This year, 25 students are participating.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) sponsors two teams using new EV3 robots. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) sponsors two teams with NXT robots.

TornadoBots members are Sunah Brewer, Allie Brown, Madison Few, Olivia Jones and Devin Williams. The Thunderbolts team includes Ethan Bordelon, Gabe Franz-Colon, Michael Cox, Byron Headrick, D.J. Johnson, Graham Jones and Art Prapiadis.

Students in Redstone Reactors are Nick Bowerman, Ryan Farmer, Kendall Lamb, Aidan Lay, Baylin Navarro, Nathan Shipley and Parker Webb. LegoBlitz members are Adonye Belay, Deyana Belay, Logan Brinks, Ryan Reyes and Adam Troup.

Two Horizon teams competed against 14 teams at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center qualifier on Nov. 30. Horizon sent one team to the qualifiers against 16-plus opponents at Arab High and Discovery middle schools.

Horizon’s Redstone Reactors and Thunderbots will advance to the state tourney. The Thunderbots also won the Gracious Professionalism award.

Bero gave kudos to the Brinks, Bryson, Farmer, Few, Franz and Jones families for coaching. “SAIC sent guest speakers and hosted evening events for students. Mesa Robotics came at Coach Brink’s request and gave a wonderful demonstration and lesson,” Bero said.

“My students all learned a great deal about robotics and disasters. They were thrown some curves — Redstone Reactors had multiple problems at competition and won after an afternoon of frantic problem-solving,” Bero said.

In addition, the Blitz and TornadoBots were challenged to overcome conflicts with Thanksgiving and the Iron Bowl. “We’re looking forward and getting ready for state now with the two qualifying teams,” she said.

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