Following its success last December at the regional Northern Nevada FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournament held in Sparks, a group of six Piñon Hills Elementary School fifth-graders received an invitation to the North American Open Championship at Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. The rookie team, M Cubed, participated along with 73 other teams last month in a three-day competition. Teams came from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.
M Cubed received its invitation based on taking first place in the Robot Game competition, as well as winning the Robot Performance Award, which is one of the judged categories. The team members are Nanami Duncan, Josh Herup, Wyatt Kremer, Grant Kuhlmann, Gaby Monachino and Carter Olson. The coaches are Scot Duncan and David Monachino.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology was founded in 1989 and, in partnership with the LEGO Group, created the league, a program dedicated to sparking interest among young people in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Beyond robotics and programming, teams are required to do research on a given topic, interact with their local community and present their findings. The theme this year was “Senior Solutions.” Teams were tasked with learning about the challenges faced by seniors, as well as develop at least one unique solution that would help make the lives of seniors better.
“This program provides a tremendous platform for integrating STEM education, critical thinking, presentation skills and community involvement. Moreover, the opportunity for these kids to participate in such a high-level event undoubtedly has boosted their ability to perform in future competitions,” said Duncan.
The team would like to thank ASJ Small Engines of Gardnerville, which was the team’s lone sponsor this season and made the team’s participation in this program possible.