The robotics after school club at Westside Elementary is one not to miss! The club started out about eight years ago, with funding through the after school grant at the time. It has since become funded through donations and the school district.  The program at Westside Elementary relies on volunteer time, grant funding, and private donations. The club consists of a team of 2-10 kids that enter a competition each year called The First Lego League. In this program, students learn research skills, team work, problem solving, engineering skills, presentation skills. The First Lego League website also states that research has demonstrated that more than 87 percent of students who participate in the program are more interested in doing well in school, and 88 percent have more interest in attending college.

Westside Elementary robotics team at the competition.

Each year the competition presents a different theme that the challenge is based on. The challenge theme changes every year.  With each challenge there is an Innovative solution to a problem focused around the theme. This project that the team builds is presented to the judges and is scored on research, innovative solutions, and presentation.  As the team builds the LEGO Mindstorms robot, the team has a strategy of completing the missions that are part of the mission field. The team presents their robot and programming design to the judges who focus grading on mechanical design, programming strategies, and innovation.  Mainly critiquing to see if the robot is soundly built and can achieve the missions it is programmed for.

The final judging panel is based on core values. The First Lego League has their own set of core values, which fall under inspiration, team work, and gracious professionalism. In short, working as a team, being proud of what you do, and having fun are key elements of the values the First Lego League looks for and judges upon.

The last challenge is the robot game, which for kids, is the most fun and the most frustrating. This challenge puts programming to the test to earn points on the mission field.  All the missions have a point value and over the practice season, teams program to achieve as many points as possible. Past challenges have been:

Into Orbit, Hydrodynamics, Animals Allies, Trash Trek, Nature’s Fury, World Class (learning), Senior Solutions, Food Factor, and Body Forward.

The team at Westside, had brought home trophies from the Food Factor season in presentation, Senior Solutions and Nature’s Fury in robot programming. As well as a programming trophy from State for programming. For the Hydrodynamics and Into Orbit challenges, they won overall champion and robot game highest points in regional competition!

Awards earned by Payette students at the competition.

This phenomenal robotics club is headed by Shannon Kelly at Westside Elementary School. Please contact the district for more information about the club at Payette School District (208) 642-9366.

For more information about the FIRST program, please check out their website: https://www.firstinspires.org/about/impact

About Payette Schools

Payette Schools is an environment of champions both in the classroom and the community.  Our dedicated and caring staff arrive each day ready to teach our students. Payette students are prepared to be leaders, innovators and difference makers in the classroom and the world with support from a variety of programs such as Robotics, Performing Arts, Career Technical Education, Athletics, Clubs, Makerspace, Academic Competitions, and more.  Payette Schools is excited about our planned facility improvements to create even more inviting spaces to teach and inspire our future generations. Payette Schools – People, preparation, progress – Payette.

For more information about the Payette School District, please visit www.payetteschools.org . Or visit us on Instagram @payette_schools and on Facebook.

Media Contact
Company Name: Payette School District
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
Phone: (208) 642-9366
Address:20 N 12th Street
City: Payette
State: Idaho
Country: United States
Website: http://payetteschools.org