Boise students build a robot for First Lego League Challenge

Posted at 9:11 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 23:11:45-05

A team of kids from Inspire Idaho Connections Academy in Boise spent hours after school for months building a robot, putting it together, and writing the code to make it do what they tell it to do.

The months of preparation is all part of a competition that will take place in a few weeks called the First Lego League Challenge.

"The kids are given a certain topic. This year its hydrodynamics in which they study the way the human cycle effects the water supply," said coach Cook Jones.

Fifty percent of the tournament is based on the kids giving a presentation about a real-world problem and a solution to that problem, the other 50 percent is building a robot that has to accomplish a number of missions.

The missions all have to do with that year's topic, in this case, hydrodynamics.
For example, their robot must add water to a fountain or transport water from one place to another.
The more missions they complete the better they do, but in order to make the robot complete the missions they must fail and then reboot.

"A lot of it is through trial and error," said Coach Steven Roy. "They are doing a great job of staying positive even though they try something and fail and fail and fail, each time they fail they are learning something new and immediately reapplying what they've learned."

While the kids have a ton of fun while working, the work also provides a hands-on educational experience.

"They are having a lot of fun but they are also learning a ton at the same time so it's a great combination of engineering, design, but also working with some coding for the robot," said Roy.

But even more than learning and fun, it's really setting them up for a bright future.

"It's certainly using Lego's but its pretty good representations and it allows the kids to understand the engineering that would go into thinking about how these types of problems would be solved in the real world," explained Jones.

The kids are set to attend the tournament on December 9th.