The Miami Valley School’s FIRST LEGO League robotics team, named Technonati, ended its season this month with its final competition at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. The students competed among top-ranked teams from 500 First Lego League Teams throughout the state. In true MVS fashion, the end of their season does not mean the end to real world application for the students.
The team placed 25th at the state tournament, building on a great fifth season and a successful last year of competition. Along with their placement, they also earned the Top Robot Design award for their innovative minimalist “two-axis” forklift robot, named “G.U.I.D.O” – Geared Universal Implement (for) Daring Objectives. The students programmed it with a developmental code based off Python specifically designed for the LEGO EV3 programmable robot.
Although the state competition caps off the end of the team’s season, the students are still planning to continue their work with the execution of their Innovation Project, which focuses on designing a implementation of Design-for-Learning classroom renovations. The Design-for-Learning classroom is a concept to create warm, inviting learning and teaching spaces to combat stress, improve attention, and spark a design to learn using scientifically proven strategies.
Inspired by the incredible classroom design of two MVS faculty members, Stephen Fout and Patti DeLotell, the team worked through the process to understand the nuances of Design-for-Learning and how to create these innovative learning spaces at MVS.
Students also reached outside of the community, where they consulted with Serena Walther, a certified interior designer with Springhouse Architects; Bob Pohl, CEO of Clean Energy 4 All, and Sam Chaltain, a partner at 180 Studio, which is a global design collaborative dedicated to advancing people’s understanding of the future of learning. With the knowledge from these experts, they constructed a repeatable, continuous process for any school to build better classrooms.
The students were invited by the National Association of Independent Schools to share their project with over 1,400 independent schools in the US.
Parent coaches Mike Noyola, Mike Cochran and Radha Reddy mentor the team.“We are so proud of what the students have accomplished this year,” Noyola said. “While we were excited for state competition, we know these students have already learned valuable lessons on innovation, collaboration and sustainability. They will take these tools with them throughout their educational and professional careers.”