WMS robotics team takes third at state

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Congratulations go out to Woodland Middle School's FIRST LEGO League robotics team!

The team of eight seventh- and eighth-graders -- called RBT8 -- competed against 60 other teams Jan. 17 to win the third-place Intel Oregon Champion’s Award at the Oregon State robotics competition in Hillsboro.

“The kids did really well on everything at the state tournament,” said teacher and Robotics Team adviser Timothy Brown, who coaches the group with his wife, Shar. “Their improvement between December’s qualifying tournament and the state tournament was phenomenal.”

The team had been preparing since the first day of school in September for the competition, which had three parts:

  • Complete a research project that will improve learning.
  • Build and program a robot that performs a series of functions, like pushing and pulling objects.
  • Demonstrate the team’s core values in an interview and problem-solving situation.

For its research project, the WMS team developed an innovative way to teach seventh graders how to calculate volume. Using a 3D printer and Archimedes’ method of displacement, they led the students through an exercise that enabled them to derive the equation themselves.

Now RBT8 is hoping to spread the word to other school districts in the area, encouraging them to join in the fun of participating in FIRST LEGO League competitions.