Robotics Club News
Student have ideas, energy and enthusiasm
It didn’t take long for the advisors of the John Jay Middle School’s First Lego League club to add a monthly Saturday build to the club’s weekly schedule.
“The students are ambitious and enthusiastic,” said technology teachers Evan Lucieer and Steve Zoeller, who advise the club with parent Sebastian Oliver. “They wanted more.”
The club’s two teams were each building and programing an autonomous robot to complete up to 15 missions in a two-and-a-half-minute round.
Their work paid off.
Winner of Masterpiece Challenge
Congrats to all!
On Saturday, January 20, John Jay Middle School’s First Lego League Robotics Team 58243 took first place at the Hudson Valley Regional Qualifier!
It advances to the Hudson Valley Regional Championships at Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute on February 10 where they will compete against 23 other teams from across New York State.
The middle school's second robotics team was awarded Most Innovative Lego Sculpture in the Masterpiece Challenge, and finished fourth at the First Lego League Regional Qualifier.
building on solid skill set grounded in curriculum
While this is the first year of John Jay Middle School’s robotics program, it builds on a solid skill set developed through the school’s curriculum.
Students are introduced to intuitive "drag and drop" programming by sixth grade and use coding languages including Scratch and BlocksCAD—which are like the one that Lego uses—in technology and other classes.
“Students are used to collaborating to solve a problem,” said Lucieer. “That’s an essential skill of robotics.”
Every member has a role
Mentoring is part of the secret sauce
Zoeller, who taught at John Jay High School and advised their Robotics Club for many years, is a proponent of students of all age groups working together.
His connection to the high school paved the way for members of John Jay High School’s larger than life Robotics Team—they went to the Robotics World Championship in 2023—and students in John Jay’s computer science program to mentor the middle school club.
a supportive, collaborative experience
Build robots out of legos
The students’ engagement with robotics shows in what they choose for their Innovation Project, one of the requirements of the tournament. The assignment was to use technology and the arts to promote something that the team is passionate about.
Sixth graders Ben Gregoire and Alex Cooney led the effort to create a stop motion video which promotes bringing robotics clubs to Katonah-Lewisboro’s elementary schools.
"We build robots out of Legos," said the Lego avatar for Ben. "It takes a lot of time. But after we're done, we have a fully functioning robot ... so join Lego League today!"