Skip to main content

Welby Elementary wins awards at Region, State as newcomers to First Lego League robotics

Mar 28, 2017 10:25AM ● Published by Julie Slama

Newcomers to First Lego League Robotics, Team Tech and The Coders, representing Welby Elementary, competed at the state First Lego League robotics tournament after both teams woninning the presentation awards at region. (Haley McCall/Welby Elementary)

Gallery: Welby Elementary wins awards at Region, State as newcomers to First Lego League robotics [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Welby Elementary fifth-grader Cami Mounga had been part of her school’s coding club. So when teachers offered to start a First Lego League robotics team, she jumped at the opportunity.

“I thought it would fun and a good learning experience,” said Cami, who became captain of Team Tech. “We became good friends as well as good teammates.”

Instead of just offering one robotics team, the school had enough interest to offer two teams.

Fifth-grader Caleb McDonald became captain of The Coders.

“I like Legos, and it’s been pretty cool to make a program and robot,” he said. “Sometimes we had long practices, but it was better with pizza.”

Little did they know their interest in these inaugural teams of Team Tech and The Coders would give them first- and second-place presentation awards, respectively, at the Feb. 4 regional qualifying tournament and bids to the northern state Feb. 11 championship. At state, Team Tech won the inspiration award presented to “a first-year team showing enthusiasm and spirit.”

First Lego League isn’t just building a Lego robot and programming it to complete missions each worthy of points; 

the competitions allow students age 9 to age 14 to compete in core values and an innovative project and presentation, as well as the robot design and performance. Through the competition, students apply real-world math and science concepts, research challenges, learn critical thinking, team-build and develop presentation skills while having fun competing in tournaments.

This year about 32,000 teams competed worldwide, with more than 300 teams across Utah competing in the state qualifying tournaments and both a northern and southern state championship.

Starting from scratch, Welby coaches Kristie Alexander, Ana Cerezo, Rani Li and Haley McCall sought advice from other coaches and teams and former state-winning coach Michelle Estrada. They took it upon themselves to learn about robot technology and get grants to buy the robot kit.

“We have had more than 100 kids in our coding club, so there’s interest and that helped prepare them for the commitment of First Lego League,” McCall said. “But we started late. By the time we got the robot and started going, other teams already had been programming for months. Still, our students accomplished so much in a short time.”

McCall said they did have experience in student research, papers and presentation.

“As teachers, we have presentation experience, so we already had our students researching their topics for their presentations, and our teams watched and critiqued each other to help them improve,” she said. “Still, we were surprised when our students got awards in their first year.”

Tying into the First Lego League theme of “Animal Allies,” Team Tech came up with a real world issue they could solve. The team members researched Cami’s idea of helping orangutans and learned that palm trees were being cut down to get palm oil, which was diminishing the food for the animals.

“Our idea was to create a knocker that get the nuts down so they don’t have to cut down the trees. We made a prototype with a 3-D printer to show judges. We also worked with Spyhop film makers to make a video of the problem we identified and how we solved it,” Cami said about the infomercial the team posted on YouTube.

She also said that they shared information about an app they learned about that identifies foods with palm oil to educate consumers about how those products are harming the orangutan habitat.

The Coders’ project was about sharks getting caught in long-line fishing.

“The sharks were getting caught instead of the tuna or swordfish. If they aren’t helped immediately, they die on the long line. So, we decided to deter sharks from the hooks with the idea of electricity and attracting them to the other side of the barrier with shiny materials,” Caleb said, adding that his team also created a film about the project through iMovie.

McCall said both students became better leaders through the experience.

“Cami was always cheering and encouraging her teammates and ensuring everyone was on task and ready for the competitions,” she said. “Caleb was proud of his team and excited; he made sure his team was organized and brought out the best of others.”

Cerezo said the experience was positive.

“We’re amazed about how much they learned through the process,” she said. “At the beginning, some of the kids weren’t even talking to one another, and by the end, it was as if they were best friends. We saw their character grow and watched them learn more about research and presentation and about robot design and programming.”

Education, Today
  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/19/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • R.C.I.A.

    10/19/2017
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Instruction Classes

    10/19/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/20/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/20/2017
    08:30AM — 09:15AM

    Zombies sing and dance to top Halloween Hits in this THRILLING Halloween show for the entire fami...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/20/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/20/2017
    07:00PM — 07:45PM

    Clayton Productions Freaky Friday’s ALL HALLOWEEN SHOW is BACK ! With a new extended show, large...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/22/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    10/22/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Halloween Service

    10/22/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join CrossPoint Church for their third annual Halloween service! Children and adults alike are en...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/23/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/25/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/19/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • R.C.I.A.

    10/19/2017
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Instruction Classes

    10/19/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/20/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/20/2017
    08:30AM — 09:15AM

    Zombies sing and dance to top Halloween Hits in this THRILLING Halloween show for the entire fami...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/20/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/20/2017
    07:00PM — 07:45PM

    Clayton Productions Freaky Friday’s ALL HALLOWEEN SHOW is BACK ! With a new extended show, large...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/21/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FREE Women's Self Defense Class

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Free Self Defense for women! The third Saturday of every month! We have tons of fun and learn a l...


  • Free October Event DSM Cricket-wireless

    10/21/2017
    02:00PM — 05:00PM

    DeYoung Smart Mobile Cricket October Event with the Helping Paws. October 21st, 2017 2pm-5pm At 5...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/22/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    10/22/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Halloween Service

    10/22/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join CrossPoint Church for their third annual Halloween service! Children and adults alike are en...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/23/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/24/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/25/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/26/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • R.C.I.A.

    10/26/2017
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Godspell the Musical

    10/26/2017
    07:00PM

    Godspell was the first major musical theatre offering from Grammy and Academy Award winner, Steph...


  • Instruction Classes

    10/26/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/27/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/27/2017
    08:30AM — 09:15AM

    Zombies sing and dance to top Halloween Hits in this THRILLING Halloween show for the entire fami...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/27/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/27/2017
    07:00PM — 07:45PM

    Clayton Productions Freaky Friday’s ALL HALLOWEEN SHOW is BACK ! With a new extended show, large...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/28/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Rocktoberfest

    10/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    ROCKTOBERFEST Who wants to spend Halloween “just trick-or-treating” (and getting wet if it rai...


  • Herriman High Cheer Fundraiser

    10/28/2017
    06:30PM — 09:00PM

    Family Run Run 5K Cheer fundraiser. Race will start at Herriman High via 6000 West - Herriman Par...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/29/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    10/29/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/30/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/30/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    10/31/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/01/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/01/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/02/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • R.C.I.A.

    11/02/2017
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Instruction Classes

    11/02/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/03/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/04/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Free Anti-Bullying Class

    11/04/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Gracie Barra Sandy hosts a free self defense class once a month on the first Saturday of every mo...


  • Local Authors & You - Booksigning

    11/04/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Saturday, November 4 1-5 pm Are you an aspiring author hoping to be published? Do you enjoy m...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/05/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    11/05/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/06/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/06/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/07/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/08/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/08/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Ascend Yoga Studio is Now Open!

    11/09/2017
    06:00AM

    Ascend is a brand new studio located on 726 E and 12200 S ste. F in Draper! We do heated as w...


  • R.C.I.A.

    11/09/2017
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Murray High School's Brigadoon

    11/09/2017
    07:00PM — 09:30PM

    Murray High Schools Theatre Department's Brigadoon!


  • Instruction Classes

    11/09/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


 

Online Edition
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974