Pixelated Pelicans Awarded at Robotics Competition

The Pixelated Pelicans had another successful FIRST LEGO League (FLL) tournament this season!  On February 6th, the team, sponsored by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, competed in person at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. The Pelicans consist of five Visitation Academy Middle Schoolers: Cate Trachsel (8), Lizzy Forget (7), Mikayla Woods (7), Addie Kramer (6), and Mena Zarek (6).  
Due to the COVID pandemic, the schedule and format of FLL changed this year.  The girls first spent 30 minutes on the Robot Game.  Staying calm and collected, they fine-tuned aspects of their robot and launches to achieve a perfect final run and personal best score of 250 points.  Their teamwork was outstanding!  They then presented for 30 minutes in front of a panel of judges where they discussed their Robot Design, FIRST Core Values, and Innovative Project.  For this year's RePLAY Challenge, teams were tasked with creating a solution to bring activity to an inactive space in a fun way.  The Pelicans wanted to bring more activity to desks since they spend a majority of their day sitting in one.  After hearing from experts and researching ideas, a solution was born with an exercise band, hooks to attach the band to a chair, and a specific stretch to target the shoulder muscles.  Their solution not only helps with posture but also gives students a healthy alternative to fidgeting in class.  Targeted stretch breaks throughout the day will lead to the strengthening of these muscles, help students (and adults) maintain better posture, and be beneficial over time.  The team shared their idea within a survey and sent it out to the FLL community as well as Viz's Middle School.  They received 99 responses (over 30 of them from Viz Middle School students).  The survey data also helped inform their project research.   
At the end of the tournament, the judges chose the Pixelated Pelicans for the Core Values Award which "celebrates a team that displays extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit, knows they can accomplish more together than they could as individuals, and shows each other and other teams respect at all times."  The FIRST Core Values are Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork, and Fun.  The Pelicans also placed 4th in the Robot Game!
In related news, you may have noticed a robot as part of the 7th Grade line dance this Homecoming.  One of the Pixelated Pelicans, Lizzy Forget, programmed a Viz EV3 Robot to join her class in the dancing fun.
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