LKSD Robotics teams go Into Orbit

by K.J. Lincoln

Robotics teams from the Lower Kuskokwim School District broke out of their earthly constraints with this year’s First Lego League Robotics Challenge: Into Orbit.

10 teams accepted the challenge and joined in the Southwest Region Robotics qualifier last week at the Gladys Jung Elementary School. Teams from Bethel Regional High School, Gladys Jung Elementary, Ayaprun Elitnaurvik, Tuntutuliak, Napakiak, Tununak, Newtok, and Napaskiak participated during the exciting robot rendezvous.

Two schools, however unfortunately, were weathered out – Newtok and Tununak, but they still participated via video conferencing.

“We had a great weekend with typical ups and downs of winter time travel in the Delta,” wrote Colin Stewart. “10 teams in total competed, 5 Bethel based, 5 village teams. 2 of which competed on VTC due to weather holding them back at home.”

Stewart works at the College Career Ready Department for the Lower Kuskokwim School District and coordinated the Southwest robot rendezvous qualifier.

The challenge has three parts: the robot game with missions on a playing field (which is opened to the public), the Project based on the challenge – team will be transported into orbit where they will explore, challenge, and innovate in the vast expanse of space, and Core Values.

“FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the Project. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism,” wrote FLL about this year’s challenge.

FLL designs their Challenges around topics that will expose participants to potential career paths within a chosen Challenge topic, and also to strengthen their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles that come with the robotics program.

This is the 30th season of First Lego League’s robotics program. The winners from the Southwest competition are two Bethel teams: the C.R.A.N.E.S. representing Gladys Jung and coached by Nicole Smith, and the Breakfast Club, also of Gladys Jung Elementary coached by Erin Arno.

These two teams will be traveling to the state competition in Anchorage for the First Lego League Invitational Championship, January 19, 2019.

2018 Southwest Region Robotics Competition Awards:

Champions Awards (these two teams will advance to State Championship):

C.R.A.N.E.S – Gladys Jung

Breakfast Club – Gladys Jung

Robot Performance Award (Best scoring round on the robot field):

C.R.A.N.E.S – Gladys Jung

Project Award:

BRHS Fignutrons

Core Values Award:


Design and Engineering:

Carayiit Engineers – Ayaprun Elitnaurvik

Judges Award

Carayiit Engineers – Ayaprun Elitnaurvik

Robo Huskies -Napakiak

Past FIRST Lego League Challenges:

2003: Mars Mission

2004: No Limits

2005: Ocean Odyssey

2006: NanoQuest

2007: Power Puzzle

2008: Climate Connections

2009: Smart Move

2010: Body Forward

2011: The Food Factor

2012: Senior Solutions

2013: Nature’s Fury

2014: World Class

2015: Trash Trek

2016: Animal Allies

2017: Hydro Dynamics

2018: Into Orbit