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.

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.”

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!"

Innovation Project