The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

January 24, 2013

Camanche Robotics Team teaches life lessons

CAMANCHE — A whole new world of career possibilities and learning outside the classroom is opened to fourth-graders through their involvement in the robotics team.

This year’s group is no exception, continuing the ambitious legacy started by the current middle school team, also known as last year’s Team Tobor.

“This is a wonderful group of students,” Robotics Team Coach and Gifted Education Teacher Sheryl Kennedy said. “I am not directing them; they are constantly evaluating and coming up with ideas and solutions.”

Team S.H.I.N.E, which stands for Super Handy Intelligent Navigating Endeavor, proved its namesake and then some at this year’s competitions.



The group of 10 dedicated youngsters won the category of Best Robot Design at the F.I.R.S.T. Lego League Regional tournament in December, which catapulted them into the state competition in Ames last weekend.

While the kids didn’t place or win any awards at the state level, they finished in the top 10 percent and held their own as one of the youngest teams in a field of predominately seventh- and eighth-grade teams.

And the lessons learned go far beyond the awards ceremony.

“I learned teamwork and to be a better listener,” team member Madison Thompson said. “We met lots of interesting people and had lots of fun.”

This group of 9 and 10 year olds, aren’t going to waste time dwelling on their losses.

“It’s more important to learn and have fun than it is to win,” Zach Schutte said.

At state, the team had five events to compete in:  project (research and presentation skills), core values (teamwork), robotic programming and structure evaluation, and three different robot matches. The team presented in front of thousands of spectators.

In addition to programming their robot, constructing obstacles and working on missions, the kids had to prepare a project to solve a real-life problem. This year’s theme was helping seniors stay connected and involved in the community. After putting their brains together, they came up with several props to make the lives of seniors safer and easier such as a digital identification walking cane, a sensor for stoves that could help ward off house fires and other items.

All the inventions were senior approved. The team went to Eagle Point Nursing and Rehab Center to interview seniors and get ideas.

Teams also are judged on core values, including working as a team, finding guidance and learning with mentors, honoring friendly competition and treating each other with respect and kindness.

“We learned to be gracious professionals and help others,” Zayne Feller said. “We helped a sixth grade coach that was new to the competition.”

These students were so dedicated to the team that they put in extra hours after school and often gave up recess time to work on S.H.I.N.E. For some the opportunity to be a part of the team has helped them discover future ambitions.

“My favorite part was being at Iowa State, where I want to go to school to become an electrical engineer,” Bella Sager said.

Kennedy puts extra work and time into leading the group, because of the important life lessons it offers her students.

“I enjoy the way it makes kids think,” Kennedy said. “There are no right or wrong answers, but there is always a choice and something you can do better. It’s a really important life lesson.”

When asked whether they will compete in the F.I.R.S.T Lego League again, the students did everything but jump for joy as they all replied in unison an overwhelming “yes.”

“I’m already excited for the theme for next year, ‘Nature’s Fiery,” Riley Sowle said. “That sounds really fun. I already have some ideas.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • Women's Expo set for Tuesday at Wild Rose CLINTON -- It is time again to gather the girlfriends and head out to the Ultimate Spring Women's Expo at the Wild Rose Event Center in Clinton. The third annual expo from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, hosted by the Clinton Herald, offers an opportuni

    April 14, 2014

  • Fulton housing loan Program to assist Fulton resident FULTON, Ill. -- Brian Hollenback and Beth Payne delivered good news last week, traveling to seven cities, three counties and two states, ending their journey in Fulton. Hollenback, who is the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition president, and its

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stutting Camanche native tapped to head North Scott schools CLINTON -- A Camanche native will return to his roots this June, after being selected as the new superintendent for the North Scott Community School District. Joe Stutting, a 1987 graduate of Camanche High School, has been away from his hometown for

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • preview-1.jpg Luau raises funds to support programming

    CLINTON -- Hundreds of supporters and volunteers gathered Friday night to endorse a lifesaving organization in the Gateway area. The 10th annual Gateway Area Red Cross Luau kicked off the night at the Tuscany Event Center at Rastrelli's with a buffet

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Meet Your Neighbor: Gardening serves multiple purposes

    CLINTON -- For Kathy Anderson, gardening is something she has always enjoyed. "For as long as I remember, I have been obsessed with being outside," Kathy said. "My mother never had to ask twice for me to go outside and play." At 5 and 6 years old, Ka

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • Longman.jpg Stars and stripes to fly at half-staff

    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa to be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Monday in honor of a World War II airman, whose remains were recovered more than 70 years after being killed in action.
    Lt. Louis L. Longman, a 26-year old at the time he was last seen April 16, 1944, was a Clinton native. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps Air Force and when he was last seen, his unit was returning from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-10-14 Take Back the Night photos 04 Take Back the Night seeks change

    CLINTON -- Marcia Lathrop and Kris Ayala have witnessed and experienced sexual abuse and domestic violence. According to Clinton YWCA Executive Director Shannon Sander-Welzien, someone is raped in this country every 1.3 seconds. On average, a child w

    April 10, 2014 5 Photos

  • Lego League A worldwide honor CAMANCHE -- In their first year of competition, the Camanche Elementary School Jr. LEGO League team has accomplished more than they ever imagined, capping off the season with a worldwide honor. The six students of Sheryl Kennedy's Jr. LEGO League tea

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heels for Her secondary Not an easy walk

    CLINTON -- Ashford University's bravest men on Tuesday strutted their stuff in 6-inch, stiletto heels to raise awareness for victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Students, faculty and staff took part in the second installment of the "Heels for Her"

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook