November 18, 2013— Weare, NH—WMS Technology Education Teacher Angela Miller has teamed up with SAU 24 Technology Director Dr. Gregory Reinert to form Weare Middle School’s first Lego Robotics Club. The club, which is designed to expose students to technology as it relates to real world experiences and careers in robotics and programming, currently has 20 members. Many of the club members are in 5th & 6th grade, and the goal to use their acquired programming skills to be an active participant of a competitive First Lego League next year. The club meets Wednesday afternoons from 2:15 to 3:30 at the school.
“We decided to have a little technology fun right from the start,” said Reinert. “I created name tags for all the students with their names bar coded on their tags. When they come to class, we scan them in.” Easy way to take attendance and fun for the kids,” continued Reinert, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems.
Each week the students, who have now been broken into five group teams, take turns rotating among the roles of coach, engineer, information specialist, and software specialist to complete an assigned quest for their robot to complete. “Rotating the students allows them to share responsibilities and to determine who is good at each task to achieve team collaboration at its peak,” said co-advisor Angela Miller.
The quests begin simply and slowly increase in challenge. Some quests include writing a program to make a robot navigate the inside and outside perimeters of a box, completing a maze, pulling weights or driving up a ramp while racing another robot. “There is no single solution for a quest,” said Reinert. “Students quickly learn that success requires experimenting with a variety of potential solutions. Failure is not only an option, but encouraged as an integral part of the problem solving process,” continued Reinert. A successful solution to a quest requires integrating reading, drawing, math, and other academic skills.
“Teambuilding and strengthening academic as well as social skills of collaboration, delegation, and communication are strengthened by working in small teams,” said. Miller. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of problem solving strategies, time management, commitment, and teamwork. These are all essential life skills and will help to better prepare students for their high school years,” continued Miller.
The club is also doing a bit of fundraising in hopes of competing in a First Lego League competition next November. They are selling the 2014 NH Fish & Wildlife calendars. The calendars cost $9.95 each of which the club receives $4.95 for each one sold. If you’d like to purchase a calendar and don’t know a WMS Lego Robotics member, you may contact Teacher Angela Miller by email at