Skagway’s middle school First Lego League robotics team is getting set for a scrimmage in Whitehorse on Nov. 29-30, as well as a regional meet at Juneau on Dec. 14.
The scrimmage in Whitehorse is based around team building, STEM challenges and an obstacle course for a robot the team is building, said Mary Thole, the robotics coach and a fifth-grade teacher. The scrimmage also is based on cooperation and competition to help teams prepare for future meets.
The December meet in Juneau is Skagway’s regional competition. Initially, ferry service cuts were going to prohibit the students from attending, but additions to the schedule solved the problem.
In addition to the robotics portion of the challenge, the First Lego League puts up different teamwork-based and engineering problems, challenging the teams to come up with solutions. This year’s competition is called City Shaper and tasks the students with coming up with ways to make a positive impact on their community.
Skagway’s team chose to focus on promoting more crosswalks to make the town safer for pedestrians. Their efforts have already gotten the attention of the borough assembly.
The junior robotics team is also working on pushing positive influences in town. Five teams of students between third and fifth grade showcased different building structures at a planning and zoning commission meeting Nov. 20 at city hall. The ideas offered a mix of environmental friendliness, durability and accessibility.