▪ The Lego Legends, a Lego robotics team comprised of nine students ages 9-12 from Anderson and Franklin counties, recently received highest honors from the University of Kentucky regional First Lego League tournament. The tournament, held on the UK campus on Dec. 6, included teams from all over Central Kentucky.
First Lego League, in which teams build a robot out of Legos and a Lego EV3 computer brick, is designed to get children excited about science and technology, and to teach them employment and life skills in a sports-like environment.
This year’s tournament theme was “Trash Trek,” so all categories revolved around the theme of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
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The group that started the Lego Legends has incorporated as a non-profit, LEGENDary Minds Inc., to fund educational endeavors for students in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics activities. The group now has the junior high-level league team, the Lego Legends, and a high school team, the ‘Lectric Legends, that compete in the First Tech Challenge. All of the students on the high school team first participated in the junior high team, and the five most senior members were on a team that went to California in 2012.
▪ A group from Tates Creek High School has advanced to the 32-team final round of the 2016 Lexus Eco Challenge, a national STEM contest for grades 6-12 built on environmental issues and practical solutions.
With their first-round success in the land/water division, “Let’s Go Batty” secured a $10,000 prize for their team and their school.
Led by adviser Catherina Sammons, students Joyia Burrus, Isabella Morales, Katie Sandford, Morgan Boaz and Abby Watkins researched the effects of bats on Lexington’s ecosystem and developed a plan to increase their population. They built bat houses to put up in Veterans Park by partnering with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Division of Parks and Recreation.
Results of the Eco Challenge’s air/climate contest will be announced soon, and the Final Challenge ends Feb. 19. Eight first-place teams will receive $15,000 each, while two grand prize winners (middle and high school) will net $30,000 each.