Emerson’s Atomic Synergy robotics team cap first season with state competition

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After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, robotics at Emerson Elementary is back. 

Emerson’s Atomic Synergy robotics team completed their rookie season with an admirable performance at the Ohio FIRST LEGO League (FLL) state championship on March 6.

The team, coached by Emerson teachers Jeffrey Miltko and Beth Dalin, is composed of fourth-graders Matthew Flory and Shuburaketan Kanumury; and fifth-graders Max Crites, Catherine Fagge, Caleb Reinhard, Alysia Turner, Hunter Walston and Katie Weikel.

During FLL competitions, teams presented a research project and completed robot game missions, all while practicing the core values of Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism. For the robot game, students constructed and programmed a LEGO Mindstorms robot to complete various missions on a 4' x 8' challenge table during a 2.5-minute competition run. The project required them to identify a problem relating to the theme, which for this year is Cargo Connect; devise a solution; and share that solution with others. Teams presented their projects, robot design and programming strategies to a panel of judges for evaluation.

Prior to the state championship, the Atomic Synergy team competed in a regional qualifier, where they earned the Champions' Award for top all-around performance; and a district competition, where they took home the Rising All-Star Award, which celebrates a young team whom the judges notice and expect great things from in the future.

Atomic Synergy’s project focused on the use of bamboo packaging as an alternative to cardboard and incorporated feedback that the team received through meetings with executives from DHL and LEGO's supply chain management department. Judges commended the team on the depth of their research and quality of their prototypes, as well as their collaboration and teamwork over the course of the season. Team members say that this season has helped improve their ability to work with and make decisions as part of a team, and has shown them the importance of perseverance and learning from mistakes.

Members of Atomic Synergy will be demonstrating their robot during Westerville City Schools’ 16th annual LEGO Competition, which runs 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 19 at Westerville North High School.