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Willie Brown “Robo Eagles” Compete in TCEA Robotics Competition

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Willie Brown Elementary fielded its first-ever robotics team for the TCEA Area 10/11 competition in Allen, Texas on January 14. Students competed in groups of three or four against other area teams, which ranged in age from elementary to high school.

In preparation for the competition, the students worked over several months during after-school practices to design and build their own robots using LEGO NXT Robotics kits. They programmed these robots using software that runs on a standard desktop or laptop computer. All teams received the same challenge in advance. Strategies for tackling the challenge varied widely.

Robo Eagles Coach and Willie Brown Elementary Fourth Grade Teacher Monica Abrams said, “The kids had to use collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills continually while working on these challenges. It was neat to see their skills develop in the weeks leading up to the competition.”

The MISD Strategic Plan calls for implementation of robotics programs throughout MISD during the instructional day and/ or as an after school activity. A Blue Prints Foundation grant of $80,000 and an MISD Foundation grant of $10,000 are helping to fund the first steps toward achievement of this goal. Plans through the 2012-2013 school year include providing materials for Tech Apps classes at all elementary campuses and providing some start-up equipment for schools that have expressed an interest in initiating after-school programs.

Interested in learning more?

Contact Jan North (janicenorth@misdmail.org), EdTech Trainer/Coach Ashley Coffman (ashleycoffman@misdmail.org), or Coach Monica Abrams (monicaabrams@misdmail.org).

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