WIS team advances in LEGO challenge

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waccamaw intermediate School 5th grade team members Samantha Jaouiche, Jack Kibler, Tyler Fico, James Lanford, Rion Keesee, Jacon Schoen, Anna Bird, Phillip Nojunas, Madison Cline, Jamir Johnson and coach Charlene Allen, a science teacher.


A team of 5th-graders from Waccmaw Intermediate School will be headed to Columbia Feb. 15 to compete in the state finals in the annual First LEGO League robotics competition.

On Saturday, the team was part of the region competition which was held at Coastal Carolina University’s Conway campus. More than 200 students from across Georgetown and Horry counties participated.

The theme of this regional competition was “nature’s fury” and students were required to build a robot made of LEGOs and come up with another project centered around that idea.

This year, WIS had two teams in the event, part of an international competition. Last year’s 5th grade team - who advanced to the state finals in 2013 - are now 6th graders and took part on Saturday.

The robot built by the 5th graders was named “bull” and the team had two-and-a-half minutes to get the robot to help after a tsunami.

As for their project, the 5th graders created a fire-retardant spray contained in an extinguisher. It won a first place award.

The 6th graders devised an emergency kit for pets that contained nearly everything needed for a pet’s survival following a disaster. That team placed first in the core values category.

The mission of the LEGO event, in part, is to teach healthy competition which has led to the creation of a word - coopertition - a combination of cooperation and competition.

St. Michaels Catholic School also had a team in the contest.

“It is important to do well but we also want to have fun. It’s not all about competition,” said 10-year-old Mia Reno of the St. Michael’s team.

Elissa Rosenberg, whose 11-year-old son, Zachary, was on the WIS team, says the event “builds creativity” and teaches the teams “to work together.”

WIS Principal Dr. Tim Carnahan said the “overall learning experience” for the students is why he feels it is important to enter the competition each year.

“It is a way to learn to apply technology to real life situations,” he said.

The teachers who helped coach the teams are Carey Given, Kathy Hirsch, Becky Anderson and Charlene Allen.

To see more photos from the event, visit southstrandnews.com

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