Berkeley school FIRST LEGO League earns win at competition

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley Intermediate School's FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team earned an honorable second place in the Teamwork in Core Values competition last week at the FLL Razorback Invitational at the University of Arkansas.

The team is called Berkeley's Outstanding LEGO Team, or B.O.L.T. Their competition ranged worldwide as they were challenged by 72 teams from 31 states and 13 countries.

The Core Values Competition judged participants based on Integration, Inclusion, Discovery, Teamwork, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Gracious Professionalism, and Cooperition, a uniquely FLL word merging competition and cooperation.

“This experience has been wonderful and I don't think anyone will ever forget," said Berkeley Intermediate fourth grader, Abigail Carswell. "LEGO means to always do the right things and never give up on what you believe in. LEGO gives you confidence and courage to never give up."

The FIRST LEGO League program engages children ages 9 to 14 in robotics, encouraging the pursuit of science, technology, and engineering. Faced with real-world challenges, the children become actively engaged in research, critical thinking, and imagination to solve problems. Through the process, the teams learn communication while developing their individual self-confidence and leadership capabilities.

The FLL challenge changes annually, but always consists of three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values.

"FLL provides a platform that allows students to be young professionals in a competitive environment," said Dr. Nicole Brevard-Hines, Media Specialist and B.O.L.T. Coach at Berkeley Intermediate School.

Fifth grade student, Sierra Curnell, stated, “LEGO League is like another family to me because we include others and work together as a team.”

At this year's event, the teams were tasked with brainstorming up the most creative way to teach someone to tie their shoelaces. When faced with a challenge, the teams devise a solution by creating a new device or invention. The teams then thoroughly research their solution and build it from raw materials.

Fifth grade student, Cecilia Higgins, said, “In LEGO League, I'm challenged in a social setting. I especially like that we have to program robots using Mindstorms technology and I really like brainstorming ideas for our project.”

Jakeirah Darby, a fourth grade student, explained, "It is not just one person doing it all. We work together and everybody shares their thoughts.”

B.O.L.T. established itself as a competitive force at other events earlier in the year. The team took first place at the Berkeley Regional Qualifier in January, and the second overall at the East State Tournament in March.

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