FULTON – At last night’s Fulton Board of Education meeting, Jan. 15, a group of students came in to present the fruits of what they have been working on outside the classroom: combining LEGOs with robotics.
The LEGO League consists of two teams of students (East Side and West Side) and two coaches, Amanda Brenner and Brad DePoint. The students are from Volney, Fairgrieve, Lannigan and Granby Elementary Schools. The program is for students fourth to eighth grade, and in addition to the two competition teams, there is a group for learning about robotics and coding before they apply to be on a team.
With a $1 million grant and a few other funding opportunities, the children were able to get team shirts and attend a competition Saturday, Jan. 11.
Brenner said during competition, these students must build a robot, complete challenges, present their project and core values.
DePoint said the children based their projects around the issues they saw in the community, such as waste on the roadside, some landlords not fixing homes, not very safe areas and parks, obesity and not having enough areas to exercise, poverty, not enough fresh produce in the area, and not enough wheelchair accessible areas.
DePoint’s team based their project on cleaning up the parks in Fulton. They did research then built a LEGO robot prototype of how they could help reduce litter in the city.
One team member, Gracyn, explained their vision of the real robot as about the same size as her twin sister and happy looking. She said the robot would be programmed to identify garbage and recyclable items and pick them up. Another feature would include a 5 cent deposit on the robot for people to turn in cans and bottles.
The students on DePoint’s team also discussed their core values, which they had written on a trifold poster board.
Brenner’s team, which will be moving on to the next competition bracket this weekend at SUNY Poly after winning second place at last weekend’s competition, showcased their idea to help low income families in the city in a green way.
They wanted to create a low income housing option and an eco-friendly building, and after doing research, found the empty Nestle building. The students also researched different grants and funding opportunities to help with the cost.
The team made a model of what their building would look like – seven floors for housing with 10 units on each floor, the bottom floor would be available for retail shop rental space, and would use eco-friendly energy sources on the roof (wind turbine, solar panels and using rainwater), to keep the tennants’ energy bills low. There would also be an electric car charger in the parking lot, rooftop garden, water bottle refilling station, on site food pantry and a clothing exchange.
Brenner said although she posed some questions in the beginning stage to help them get started, the team did all the research and wrote the presentation themselves. The team presented their project to Mayor Deana Michaels and has been invited to show the Common Council.
To see the meeting’s full agenda, click here.