Kirkland Students 'Stop That Drip'

May 02, 2018 | Anika Zebron

Nine students in grades five, six and eight from Kirkland (Wash.) Seventh-day Adventist School (KSDA) placed first in the annual regional robotics competition for First Lego League in February.

After much practice and preparation with their sponsors Dawn Campanello, Verna DeLuna, Corl DeLuna and Steve Mantle, the team made their way to Walla Walla Valley Academy in College Place, Wash., to showcase their technical skills, innovation and teamwork.

This year’s league competition focus was hydrodynamics. Teams were judged by performance in three categories: project focus, core values and robot design. The KSDA team created a website with a short video called "Stop That Drip!"

The team did a lot of research about water, both globally and locally, and then asked 135 kids in their school what they knew about water conservation. When they looked at the survey results, it became clear they had their project. The team found a fun way to show kids how they could save water.

For the category of robot design, students presented a rationale for their robot concept and design to the judges and then demonstrated the robot missions programmed in 2.5-minute rounds.

At the end of a full day, KSDA placed first in each category of project focus, then placed second in robot missions. The outstanding performance of the KSDA team resulted in a composite first-place win and an invitation to the North American Division competition for top teams in the country, held in Orlando, Fla., in May.

In addition to an amazing win, these students have also implemented lessons learned about water conservation through their project experience into everyday life.

“The best part is seeing how the team has changed their water-use habits to help out the environment,” says Campanello. “Of course, this isn’t something they have to do but that they want to do because of what they learned in the process of their project.”

This genuine spirit of hard work, collaboration and ethical engagement proves the team’s creative ingenuity and character in this competition so far. These are traits KSDA is proud to support, and the school looks forward to the next round of national competition and achievement.