Heritage School earns first victory in robotics competition
The Hydro Hawks are pictured participating in the robot games at the FIRST® LEGO® League competition. Photographed from left to right is a competition judge and Hydro Hawk members George, Joel, Aryan (back), Parks (back), and Lila.
From Special Reports
The Heritage School’s Middle School Robotics Team, known as the “Hydro Hawks,” brought home a first-place trophy for their Innovation Project after a great showing at the FIRST® LEGO® League competition in Atlanta held on Saturday, December 3.
This year’s robotics team consists of Parks Agee, Aryan Dhungel, Joel Hammond, Marvin Kennedy, Avery Rose, Lila Smith, and George Zwick and is coached by robotics teacher Eleanor Durrance. This is the Heritage School’s first win at a major robotics competition.
The FIRST® LEGO® League competition is designed to engage teams of students in research, problem-solving, coding, and engineering as they build and program a LEGO® robot. This year, 24 teams competed in a series of robot games. Teams were also required to present about the process of their robot design and present an innovation project that gives a solution to an everyday problem. This year, the innovation project centered around the topic of energy and how to improve the energy journey.
The Hydro Hawks identified and researched the problem of fish getting caught in hydroelectric dams. They presented a solution of using a fish light to attract fish away from the dam. This project required a great deal of research, critical thinking, prototype design, tweaking, and presentation preparation on top of all the time they spent working on their robots and robot games. They presented flawlessly, answered questions intelligently, and impressed the judges with their thoroughness and united team effort, ultimately winning the first place trophy for that part of the competition.
The win was even more impressive considering this year’s team was made up of six students with no prior robotics experience and only one student with some prior experience.
“The students worked hard in class every single day,” said Coach and teacher Elenor Durrance. “Everyone was involved in everything the team did. I am honored to have been able to coach these students and they worked so hard for the win. They deserved it!”
While winning at the competition was certainly a highlight, team member Marvin Kennedy said the best part was simply being part of the team: “My favorite part of the season was all the teamwork and having fun with the different robot inventions!”