EAST PROVIDENCE — The annual Rhode Island FIRST LEGO Robotics League state championship event, conducted by Rhode Island Students of the Future, returned to the calendar on January 28, taking …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The annual Rhode Island FIRST LEGO Robotics League state championship event, conducted by Rhode Island Students of the Future, returned to the calendar on January 28, taking place this year inside the East Providence High School gymnasium.
The competition brought together 18 elementary and middle school teams of students in the study of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum. FIRST LEGO League is a competitive robotics program for teams of two to 10 students.
“Team Gold” from Barrington Middle School was selected as the first-place side in the competition with “The Robotics Terriers” from North Cumberland placing as the runners-up. The winners from the event will be invited to attend a world championship competition in the spring.
Two local entries took part: “Cosmic Cove” from Martin Middle School and the “Roboknights” from the Providence Country Day School.
Members of Martin’s “Cosmic Cove” squad included Finn Trotter-Mayo, Wendy Monteiro Cabral, Caitlin Chiong, Bree Garcia, Anai Grier, Whitney Monteiro Cabral, Leah Torres, Kaliyah Heggs. Tom Hargreaves is the coach.
The PCD Roboknights, a play on the school’s “Knights” nickname, included Jacob Deacon, Elias Morcos, Annika Bzdula, Evelyn Cooper, Troy Enos, Carver Helger, John Fawzi, Matt Palmer, Killian Runco, Sidney Sinel and Ernesto Rocha. Ethan Baker is the student mentor. Heather Helger and Kelsey Sanders are the coaches.
Teams, like the one from MMS, spent the first semester of the 2022-23 term preparing for event. Hargreaves said the “Cosmic Cove” members got ready by gathering after school four days a week beginning in September.
The Martin contingent engaged in the social component of the day, Hargreaves saying his pupils mingled and talked to the other teams from across the state "exchanging ideas and looking at the other projects and robots.”
Hargreaves continued, noting his students “did very well” in the categories of CORE Values, Innovation Project and Robot design and adding, the team found the FIRST LEGO event to be “a positive learning experience” and the kids were already “looking forward to next year's competition.”
— East Providence Post and eastbayri.com staff photographer Rich Dionne shot the accompanying gallery of photos.