FORT LORAMIE — Two Fort Loramie Local Schools Lego Robotics teams competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League District Qualifier at Bowling Green State University, Jan 14.
The teams are challenged to research a real-world program and to develop a solution. They also had to design, build and program a robot using Lego Mindstorms technology and compete on a table-top playing field. The teams met two to three times a week from September through November to prepare for a district qualifier event in Versailles. Both teams received advancement invitations at the Versailles qualifier, allowing them to compete against 21 other teams at BGSU.
At the conclusion of the event in Bowling Green, the teams brought home several awards and honors. Greg Timmerman received the Coach of the Year Award and was recognized for bringing the FIRST Lego League program to the students of Fort Loramie. The Greatest of All Time team received the Robot Performance Award. The Thunderbots received the Robotic Innovative Design Award and an invitation to compete at the state competition in the Dayton Nutter Center, Feb. 4-5.
The teams comprise students in grades 4 through 8. With the help of parent and grandparent volunteers, two teams were created. The teams are student-led and coach-guided, creating leadership skill-development opportunities for the team members.
The Greatest of All Time team is coached by volunteers Tom Ballas, Mike Ballas, Scott Garrett and David Birkmeyer. The team members are Jared Baker, Adam Ballas, Marie Ballas, Calder Bergman, Lauren Bergman, Thomas Birkmeyer, Brandon Garrett, Rachel Gehret and Isaac Holthaus.
The Thunderbots team is coached by volunteers Timmerman, Jenny Sherman, James Sheer and Betsy Barhorst. Team members are Nicholas Barhorst, Anna Detrick, Luke Holthaus, Joseph Putoff, Isaiah Scheer, Ethan Sherman, Jacob Sherman, Katie Sherman and Whitney Timmerman.