Norwood Elementary robotics squad heads to state

February 28, 2024
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The Brenda Norwood Elementary BeeBots robotics team will advance to the FIRST LEGO League Texas State Championship on March 2 in Stafford. The team finished 10th overall at the FLL Regional Finals on Feb. 18, outperforming 62 teams.

Beebots team members include Jude Gazsi, Jonathan Lu, Mabry Menefee, Sai Modi, Ken Ngo, Maya Raiju, David Salvagnini and Ivy Seifer.

“This is the first time in the 12-year history of Mansfield ISD robotics that a team has gone this far in the FLL competition,” said Ashley Coffman, digital learning coach. "The exciting part is that this group of fourth-graders is competing against older students, all the way up to eighth grade.”

Additionally, the team earned third place in the Core Values category. This award goes to the team that shows the greatest enthusiasm, sporting spirit, respect for teammates and other teams in the tournament.

“This team exemplifies the essence of teamwork, innovation and gracious professionalism. This victory not only showcases their proficiency but also underscores the significance of fostering core values in the competitive spirit of FLL,” said team coach Pamela Eaton, also a teacher at Norwood Elementary.  

To prepare for the competition, teams work on building a robot and engineering it to complete small tasks such as powering a toy or raising a mini-TV. The BeeBots began meeting after school in the fall to work on their robot.  

At the competition, teams only have 2 ½ minutes to get their robot to complete up to 15 tasks. Teams do not earn points if the robot fails to complete a mission or needs to be fixed mid-task. Not only are these teams learning engineering and programming concepts to build their robots, but they are also developing soft skills including communication, adaptability, problem-solving, creative thinking, teamwork, leadership and stress management.  

“Their success is a testament to their commitment and sets a remarkable standard for young teams,” Eaton said.

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