More than 1,000 elementary and middle school students competed in the Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR) competition Saturday, April 14 which is an eight-week LEGO robotics challenge for students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade.
Student teams build and program LEGO robots using EV3/MINDSTORMS EV3 kits to perform specified tasks.
To solve the challenge, students learn engineering skills through a team exercise in designing, building, programming, testing and troubleshooting wheeled LEGO robots that perform and compete on an 8-foot-by-4-foot field.
All eight Frenship elementary schools and two of the middle schools participated in this year’s competition.
Bennett Elementary’s Team 3 won the “GEAR Head” trophy and received a wild card to participate at the GEAR finals at Texas Tech University on Saturday, April 28. Team members are Brylee Autry (4th grade), Kynzli Prichard (4th grade), Kambri Gore (3rd grade) and Brealyn Lowe (2nd grade). Bennett Team 6 will also be advancing to the GEAR finals, which includes team members Gracie Speed, Emie Dawson, Reese Kearns and Allie Williamson all in 4th grade.
Westwind Elementary’s Broxton Varnell, Jeriah Dominguez and Maksud Koksal, all fourth graders, won the 1st Place Programming Award.
Upland Heights Team 3 received the 2nd place trophy for the “Young Engineers” award. These teammates include Julia Griffin (2nd grade), Sophia Jones (5th grade), Lauren Griffin (4th grade), Ashley Griffin (4th grade) and Jennifer Tran (2nd grade).
Other awards for Frenship schools included:
- Best Themed Award: Oak Ridge 4
- GEAR Head Award: Bennett 3
- Most Elegant Robot Award: Terra Vista 4
- Programming and Controls Award: Heritage 1
For 12 years, Texas Tech University has served as a local GEAR hub for the competition in Lubbock. For the first time this year, Frenship ISD served as a competition site at the ninth grade center. During this time, the competition has grown from a trial run held with Harwell Elementary School in 2006 to a competition featuring 295 participating teams.
This year, more than 1,000 students participated from more than 65 schools, clubs and organizations in West Texas and across to the Wichita Falls area.
Congratulations to everyone who participated!