Spring Valley Academy Launches New Year in LEGO Robotics
Story by Sam Joseph, LEGO Robotics Coach
Spring Valley Academy’s (SVA) LEGO® Robotics instructors have launched a new and exciting year filled with discovery, innovation and fun. The robotics team is comprised of fifth- and sixth-grade students who strive for innovative and unique robotic design elements, in addition to precise mathematical equations that they are trying to utilize.
“I love that I get to build with LEGO and encourage my teammates to better themselves and do what they were born to do … build like they have never built before!” exclaims fifth-grader Tyler Moss. “I think the biggest challenge for my group is staying focused on the task at hand and keeping everyone engaged in robotics.”
Sixth-grader David Constantine adds, “Robotics is a good way for me to have fun with friends, build with LEGO and learn along the way. Overall, I have learned a lot about inclusion and teamwork while meeting new people. I feel that it is a blessing to have a robotics team at my school because it can teach kids skills they otherwise wouldn’t learn, like coding and how motors and sensors work together. I love being a part of it all!”
FIRST LEGO League—a national STEM program— has selected a theme this year centered around the concept of cargo delivery and service. Through the study of this theme, students will learn how to better serve their community and each other. Core values such as innovation, inclusion and teamwork, which are essential in major corporations such as Amazon, are what the SVA team is practicing this school year.
Fifth-grader Landon Mewhirter says, “We have so much fun programming for the game. We do some cool things like have Zoom meetings with Amazon employees and do team-building exercises and learn about the robots. We make friends and make mistakes, but we learn from those mistakes!”
The team had the opportunity to interview Amazon employees over Zoom concerning their worldwide cargo and delivery service. This exciting, real-world learning opportunity provided a glimpse of the possibilities of where a STEM-centered career path could lead. During this Zoom meeting, Amazon assisted students to trace the progress of a package from order through to delivery at their doorsteps. Employees from each step of the transportation process were involved to help students see how robots help to make life safer for their human employees and how technology can help people in the future improve their lives through programming, innovation and design.