Posted Date: 03/29/2021
The Perryton Junior High School Robotics WIZARDS OF TECHNOLOGY team was named the overall Grand Champion Team Saturday in Liberal, Kansas at the Mid-American Air Museum Kansas-Southwest Regional First Lego League annual competition. THE WOT team was also the Robot Design and Programming Gold Medal Winner.
The win qualified the team for FLL World Championships in Houston in April, but it was cancelled mid- season due to COVID 19.
Teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas competed in the day-long event in which teams squared off in four areas: Robot Design and Programming, an Innovation Project , Core Values and the Replay Challenge where students had to strategically design and run their robots in a two-and-a half minute event mastering difficult missions.
“This was the first year of a robotics program at PJH, and our boys stepped up and worked very hard all year,” said PJH Robotic Teacher and Coach, Sandy Woods. “They have amazed me everyday with their initiative and work ethic. It has been my blessing to work with them. We were up against seasoned, experienced teams a four-state area, so for these boys to walk off with the gold, it was am amazing accomplishment.”
First Lego League is an international competition organized by FIRST for elementary and middle school students. Each Year in August, teams are introduced to a scientific and real-world came to focus and research.
First Lego League introduces science, technology, engineers and math (STEM) to children 4-16, They engage in hands-on STEM experiences, Leadership skills, and growing their confidence and critical thinking habits of learning.
“The theme for 2021 was REPLAY.” Woods said. “It challenged our students to find a project that recognizes the athlete in each of us and to explore the evolution of sports and activities that make us physically and mentally strong. “After much research the boys developed a prototype prosthetic to allow above-the-knee amputees to enjoy the winter adaptive sport of ice climbing.”
“PJH received a grant last summer which allowed us to invest in 3 large Makerbot 3D printers,” Woods said. “The boys designed their 3D prototype using 3D design software. They zeroed in on Dr. Hugh Herr’s work at the MIT Biomechatronics Lab where he has pioneered over 100 prosthetics devices for amputees. We also spoke with Perryton ISD grads Jeremy Campbell who was a multi-Gold Medalist at the World Paralympics and Dr. Cuyler Dear, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon in Amarillo.”
Members of the team are Michael Armstrong, Billy Counts, Elijah Garcia, Gus Eylar, Caden Rodirguez, Kayce Temple, Emanuel Soto, Sam DeSantiago, Trenton Estes, and Nathan Miller. Parent and community volunteers that assisted with the WOT team are Angela Eylar, Karen Miller, Nicole Huddleston, Moriah Garcia and PJH Aministrators Dimitri Garcia and Brian Whitecotton.
Front Row Left to right: Sam DeSantiago, Elijah Garcia, Billy Counts, Sandy Woods, Trenton Estes, Caden Rodriguez and Emanuel Soto; Back Row Left to Right - Elijah Garcia, Kayce Temple, Michael Armstrong, Gus Eylar and Nathan Miller