The Mancos team will also compete in the tournament
In its first year, the Dolores Lego robotics team captured the championship trophy and received an invitation to the Lego robotics state competition in Denver.
“It was the first time Dolores Schools had participated and been invited to any Lego robotics competition to date donated by the Pinhead Institute…let alone bringing home the first trophy for the first time. We are still over the moon,” said Coach Dimitra Elder.
At the start of the school year, the Pinhead Institute, a Telluride nonprofit that works to advance science, technology, engineering, and math in schools, offered Dolores the opportunity to take on a Lego robotics league.
Two teams quickly formed. The first team was led by parents Doug and Demetra Elder, and the second team was led by Dolores’ teachers David Krumwiede and Tom Schaper.
The team led by the Elders was made up of 12 members and chose the name BEARs, which stands for Building Epic Awesome Robots. The team, led by Krumwiede and Schaper, had nine members and chose the team name The Duplos.
Students in the league range from fourth through eighth.
The two Dolores teams were invited to compete in their first major competition on November 19 at First Inspires Lego Robotics put on by Qualcomm Competition at Escalante Middle School in Durango. The theme of the competition was very supportive, and the focus was on ways students can use renewable energy in their robot designs.
Teams were asked to complete tasks and build and program a Lego robot while coming up with ways to incorporate solar, wind, and hydro elements into their design. To finish it, teams had to submit their final work to a panel of judges. This helped enforce the six core values they had instilled in BEARs throughout the semester—Teamwork, Inclusion, Impact, Fun, Discovery, and Innovation,” said Coaches Doug and Dimitra Elder.
Dolores Beers won first place and was invited to demonstrate her LEGO robotics skills. The Mancos team finished second and will also compete at the state level with the BEARs.
“We all felt so excited when we heard our school’s name being called. It’s hard to put it into words really. Everyone flew out of the stands, looking at each other in surprise and pride. We all celebrated with the kids screaming and running with joy, passing a cup to each other,” said Demitra Elder. “This experience revealed to them what hard work, dedication and opportunity can do. We are so proud of these amazing kids. I think we will see more of these kids and all of Dolores.”
Both coaches thanked the parents and school administrators for their help and support throughout the semester.
“We do a lot to celebrate our sports teams, so celebrating Dolores winning the STEM program is great. Schools that support access to STEM opportunities provide even more great ways for kids to get involved in their school and our world. We are so happy to have the support of our administrators For allowing us to make this happen. We would like to send a shout out to all the supportive parents who have come from all teams to cheer on their children and their schools! Without the encouragement and support of our parents, caregivers and the community, not much could have been done at all,” finished Coach Elder.
The Dolores BEARs will compete in state with the Mancos robotics team on Dec. 10 in Denver.
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