When did the Lego groups get started? How long have you been advisors?

Martin Evans started the Flagler County STEM Academy seven years ago (2014) with only sixth graders and one team was created to enter local competitions. A couple of years later, the academy added 5th grade students and a second competition team. We called the teams: STEM Academy PLATINUM and STEM Academy TITANIUM. Cody Anderson joined as a teacher and coach  in 201; which coincided with the addition of 4th grade students to the Academy. A third competition team was added: STEM Academy CHROMIUM. Morgan Phillips joined the coaching/teaching staff in 2018. Every year all students in the academy, 4th – 6th, are placed in teams and get to compete in the school pre-qualifier competition for FIRST Lego League (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Students who create the best projects, program the highest scoring lego robots, or demonstrate excellent collaboration skills get placed on one of the three competition teams and head to a regional qualifier. This is the second year in a row that all three competition teams (Titanium, Platinum, and Chromium) earned enough points to pass through qualifiers, compete at a regional championship, and then get invited to the State of Florida Championship.

Who are the students that are part of the competition from Flagler County Schools, and which schools/age groups are they from?

All Wadsworth Elementary students.

Team #

25586

25587

5322

Team Name

STEM Academy Titanium

STEM Academy Platinum

 STEM Academy Chromium

Project

Pizza Parcel

MedicDrone

CargoSub

1

Caden Dopp

Tahlia Miraballes

Ava Zublionis

2

Holden Carleton

Zachary Kenny

Luke Reiter

3

Lucas Stafford

Ethan Lord

Addison Asay

4

Tristan Crafton

Victoria Fraidin

Adrian Piotrowicz

5

Valentina Canessa

Daisie Sanderson

Nevaeh Black

6

Adylyn Kirks

Anisa Ospanova

Rianna Boycheva

7

Derek Payne

Landin Wright

Abby Schild

8

Liliana (Lily) Ulloa

Scarlet Frezza

Noelle Metscher

9

Olivia Warren

Sebastian Beaulieu

Vladyslav Yeromin

 

Talk about the preparation for the competition. How often do the students practice and how do they prepare?

The students have the opportunity to work on their project and robotics during the school day when they complete their regular schoolwork. The students also stay after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays for open lab time to work with their entire team. Many of the teams took the initiative to also meet up during weekends and after school on their own. They would work on project development or team building skills.

What are the goals and objectives of this program?

The STEM Academy is focused on creating the next generation of problem solvers and critical thinkers- preparing students for a fast- changing world of technology. We include the FIRST Lego League in our curriculum because it aligns with our goals.

Each year the students are presented with a season topic, this year the season topic is Cargo Connect. The students are required to find a specific problem related to the movements of cargo and come up with an innovative solution to solve the problem. Part of the project is to create a prototype, presentation, and use their core values to present to a group of judges. The core values of FIRST include: discovery, innovation, inclusion, impact, teamwork, and fun! The students use these values to guide their progress during every meeting and throughout the classroom every day.

The third part of the project is to design a lego robot and then program it to autonomously complete missions on a game board. The students are required to explain their design and programming choices by providing evidence of data analysis.

How exciting was it to hear their names called, and what’s next?

We have it on video! This is the first time that all three teams have made it to states during an in-person competition. The kids were jumping around, yelling, and even crying tears of joy. It is a very rigorous competition that students take months to prepare for and advancing to the next level is extremely rewarding for them!

Last year, all three teams advanced to states in a virtual competition and one team made it to an international Championship in Greece. The difference is that last year we were all on the phone together and we could hear each other’s excitement- but the energy was not even close to the same as being together in the same room.

The last step on the journey is the state competition where the students will celebrate all of their accomplishments with other groups from all over the state of Florida. The international competitions has been scaled way back since COVID.  The Northeast Region will be hosting the FLL State Championship on April 1st – 2nd in Pensacola, Florida.

Is there anything the community can do to help support your efforts?

The STEM Academy is a public school program made possible with the support of our community stakeholders,  including all of the parents of our students! Coming to our events and supporting our students through social media makes a huge impact on their desire to be successful and continue into STEM career paths. Direct donations and sponsorships help us fund most of our competition budget. Please contact Martin Evans at evansm@flaglerschools.com if you would like to support the engineers of our future!

Team names, placement, and photos courtesy of teacher Martin Evans. 

STEM Academy Titanium

Won 2nd Place for their Innovation Project in the Regional Qualifier hosted by Palatka High School.

Won an Invitation to the Regional Championship at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala.

Won an Invitation to the State Championship.

STEM Academy Platinum

Won 1st Place in Core Values at the Regional Qualifier hosted by Palatka High School.

Won an Invitation to the Regional Championship at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala.

Won 3rd Place Core Values at the Regional Championship

Won an Invitation to the State Championship.

 

STEM Academy Chromium

Won 1st Place for their Innovation Project at the Regional Qualifier hosted by Palatka High School.

Won an Invitation to the Regional Championship at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala.

Won an Invitation to the State Championship.

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