Statebound

Three robotics teams from Grafton schools to vie for honors in Wisconsin finals this weekend

THREE TEAMS IN the Grafton Robotics FIRST LEGO League Challenge program will compete in an online state tournament Saturday, April 17, after qualifying for the finals last month. Top photo, Team Random Engineers — consisting of sixth and seventh-grade students (from left) Jason Grunwaldt, Jakob Nestler, Jenna Bloemer, Tanvi Hardas, Jason Vogel (kneeling), Will Riley and Shaunak Chaudhuri — developed an app that encourages kids to be more active. Also qualifying for the state contest are students from Woodview Elementary and John Long Middle School (right photo, from left) Zachary Bigler, Matthew Eippert, Emma Eippert and Elli Leffingwell, who make up Team Slam Dunk. Left photo, Team X-bot$ members (from left) Aiden Werdin, Zach Kelley and Brandon Kelley are fourth and fifth-grade students from Kennedy and Woodview elementary schools who designed a video game that promotes walking.
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

About a dozen Grafton elementary and middle school students will vie for honors in a statewide robotics contest Saturday, April 17.

Last month, three of the four Grafton Robotics FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams advanced by each placing second in an online qualifier tournament.

This year’s challenge, RePlay, required students to build a robot game that would motivate people to become more active. Teams were judged on innovation, design, performance and core values.

Team Slam Dunk, composed of fourth and fifth graders at Woodview Elementary and sixth-graders at John Long Middle School, designed a website called Slam Dunk Fitness to help motivate students to exercise rather than spending time on electronics. The team placed second in the Innovation Qualifier Award category on March 21.

Sixth and seventh-grade students on Random Engineers team created an app called Random Fitness that encourages kids to get active by providing a challenge of the day, social features to get active with a friend and friendly competition leaderboards.

The team placed second in both the Champions Award and Robot Performance Award categories and received nominations for the Innovation Project Award and Core Values Award during a qualifier on March 27.

Team X-bot$, which is made up of fourth and fifth-graders at Kennedy and Woodview elementary schools, designed a video game called Run 4 It to get people active by challenging them to take more steps than other participants.

The team finished second in the Robot Design Award category and was nominated for the Champions Award during the March 27 qualifier.

Also competing March 21 was Grafton team Pufferfish, a group of middle school students whose challenge was making swimming safer for small children. They built a robotic pufferfish, Balòn, that served as a flotation device with heat sensors to warn kids when they should pop out of the pool to warm up.

The team did not advance to state, but officials said it had a solid performance.  

State-qualifying teams will submit video presentations of their projects, which will be evaluated by a panel of judges via Zoom.

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