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Posted on: April 27, 2018

Anoka-Hennepin Students Take Part in Robotics Challenge

Bleachers surrounded two small tables at Oak View Middle School on April 21st. At the center of attention were ten teams, who would compete to navigate an obstacle course with a robot of their own design.

The Anoka-Hennepin LEGO Robotics Challenge puts science, technology, engineering and math skills learned in the classroom to use.

“It’s a fun activity and they don’t even think they’re learning because they’re just doing the fun stuff but they’re using all their school stuff in a fun way,” said Paul Keeney, Director of the tournament.

Each team has spent close to 20 hours before the tournament building and programing a robot they hope will earn them more points than their competitors.

“I’ve liked LEGOs for a long time and I’ve wanted to learn how to program for a while and the two met and I just wanted to do it,” said Calvin Takkunen on Team Plutonium.

Team Plutonium’s robot named “Uranium” has a scoop and an arm that drops down to deliver objects from one end of the game table to a point-earning objective.

“Once they push the button it’s totally autonomous and it’s going to follow the instructions. So whatever they wrote in the program it’s going to do it whether they wanted it to do it or not,” Keeney said.

Every mission has a climate connection. Small gray balls represent carbon dioxide. Each ball delivered to an underground reservoir earns 5 points.

In addition to earning points for missions, teams were judged on their programming skills, design and engineering and team work.

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