Legos Aren’t Just For Kids Anymore


Carrie Schliep

2016-2017 Elementary Lego Team

Legos aren’t  just for kids any more. Kids in 4th and 5th grade can also join a Lego Robotics team.

With guidance from coaches Carrie Schliep, D.J. Borgen, Joe Coyle, and Aaron Sawdey, Lego robotics teams from Cannon Falls have spent the past 3 months creating moving ROBOTS made of Legos.  The robot had 2 motors and a computer brick that tells the robot what to do. The kids had to create a block program to have the robot complete tasks such as move a certain direction, read the tape color, and perform a task.

Block programming is slightly different from code programming. Block programming is a lot easier because it does most of it for you. In code programming, you have to spell it right and have spaces and write exactly what you want it to do.

“Lego robots can be very difficult and confusing but it is very fun,” says teammate  Aubrey Conway.

After months of learning the programs, the kids were able to test their skills. On December 6th, 2016, ten groups of lego robotics kids had a competition in the Rochester Community College Field House. The competition was about 2 and a half hours. They used their created robots to complete tasks and receive various scores.  There are 2 challenges for the competition: the short term and the long term. The long term the kids have six weeks to work on their long term challenge. The kids receive their short term project at the competition and have 45 minutes to work on it.

The Cannon Falls High School Advanced Robotics teams placed high in many of their events. One team placed 2nd in their long term challenge.  The High School teams also placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the short term competition.   Although the Cannon Falls elementary team didn’t place at the competition.  They had a great showing and were the youngest kids in the whole competition.

”Our teams were very successful and had a good time,” says co-Head Coach Mrs. Schliep.  

The learning that they gained from this experience will carry them on to even more challenges in years ahead.