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Rutherford County Schools to Host 3rd Annual Robotics Competition 37 Teams to Compete in Carolina Isobots Regional Competition

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Members of Spindale Elementary School's team, the Stingbots, eagerly awaited a demonstration by the Omegabyte's whiffle ball shooting bot

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, 37 teams from Rutherford County Schools, Polk County Schools, and Spartanburg County School Districts One, Two, and Five will compete in the third annual Carolina Isobots Regional Competition, to be held at R-S Central High School. The Carolina Isobots initiative aims to excite and engage more students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities.

Throughout the year, FIRST LEGO League teams from elementary and middle schools learn about programing a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology, completing complex missions on a challenge mat, and collaborating to research and solve a real-world problem related to the challenge. FIRST LEGO League is a national robotics program for 9 to 14 year-old students designed to get them excited about STEM and teach them valuable employment and life skills. During the season, teams meet weekly to build and test their robots and to prepare the project and presentation elements of competition. Local business and community leaders are encouraged to become mentors by working directly with teams to share their experience and by helping to shape hands-on learning experiences that reach students beyond the classroom.

Teams observe the FIRST LEGO League's Core Values - celebrating discovery, teamwork, and gracious professionalism. Because students are responsible for every aspect of their work, they cultivate important leadership and collaboration skills. Teams compete in local scrimmages to prepare them for regional and state tournaments.

During competition, teams will be scored on three presentation sessions and several rounds of timed competition. In the Project Presentation session, teams will present original research projects aimed at solving real-world problems. In the Robot Design session, they will discuss how they designed their robots to meet the demands of the mission challenge. During the final presentation, the Core Values demonstration, students will share how they worked together to complete the competition collaboratively and professionally. Finally, each team will participate in three rounds at the competition table, where they will complete as many missions as possible with their robots during a two-and-a-half-minute table run. This timed competition is open to the public, and excitement fills the room as teams put their skills to the test each year.

Last year's top honor, the Champion Award, was awarded to the Sunshine Elementary School team -- the League of 8 -- for embodying the FIRST LEGO League experience by fully embracing the Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project. While awaiting results in 2017, the crowd was treated to a demonstration by the district's high school robotics team, the Omegabytes, and elementary and middle school teams participated in a pop up dance party.

The Carolina Isobots could not exist without countless hours of coaching and encouragement offered by coaches, mentors, and parents throughout the year. Their contributions help create opportunities for students to build essential knowledge and develop critical life skills that help to prepare them for college and career success.

For more information abut the event, visit www.facebook.com/events/1623274914445354/

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