Scholars at Foothills Community School (FCS) have worked since July’s robotics camp to design and prepare for the First Lego League (FLL) regional competition.

The FLL releases a challenge every year. This year was the City Shaper challenge which has three parts — the robot game, the innovation project and core values. Students were posed with the question, “If you could build a better world, where would you begin?”

Teams were asked to identify a problem with a building or public space in the community, then design a solution and share. FCS sent two teams to compete in the regional FLL competition at the Cannon School in Concord. The two teams from FCS were the Atomic Civil Engineers (ACE) and The Reinventors. They presented their projects, their robotic design, demonstrated the FLL Core Values and completed a variety of robot programming challenges.

Both teams received high marks for the feasible community project and robotic design. The ACE team proposed a rain garden, riparian zone and recycled product playground along the Catawba Greenway, while the Reinventors proposed a graffiti art wall for downtown beautification near the skate park. The students brainstormed ways to improve community parks and access since the FLL project release in early September. Along the way, students were required to let core values guide them on how to effectively problem solve, work together, discover, innovate, be inclusive and have fun.

Competing at the regional level allows students to experience how other teams interpreted the challenge, the ideas they developed and glean ideas from each other. Students share their projects and robots with each other in the spirit of innovative design and competition.

Both teams represented McDowell County and FCS with enthusiasm and innovative ideas, a news release said. The ACE team was in the top 14 teams chosen to compete at the state competition. They will go to Greensboro to N.C. A&T University on Jan. 19.

For more information, visit www.fcs.mcdowell.k12.nc.us.

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