White Elementary School�'s Roaring Lion Brainiacs and their coach, Marie Hand, left, were the only school team from Fort Benning to advance to state Saturday.

FORT BENNING, GA., (Jan. 29, 2014) -- White Elementary School may not have left with an award from the Georgia First Lego League state competition, but they were one of only 64 teams out of 504 to make it that far to state.

Marie Hand, coach for the Roaring Lion Brainiacs said she was proud of the team and that they played respectfully. Members of the Roaring Lion Brainiacs include: Andrew Sellers, Kylee Hermeling, Jocelyn Martinez, Elizabeth Gunnison, Zachary Poche, Maddox Fenell, Cooper Mueller, John Neumeyer, Sadie Salazar, Molly Barr, Kelsey Traxler and Lexi Carow.

Before the robotics segment, the team was judged on their core values and display board. Core values represents teamwork and gracious professionalism, according to FLL rules.

�"(There were) nine people on our team and we had to do a dog sled (skit)," Andrew Sellers said. �"So we had to have lots of dogs and then we had to have a sled. I was the sled and then we had two people riding on (me) so it was kind of a hard process."

They showed their team spirit throughout the competition, Molly Barr said.

�"We like to congratulate other teams and wish them good luck in the competition and I think that�'s what sets us apart," she said.

When they began their research for their project and team skit over the course of several months, Sadie Salazar said they used the library, looked up videos on the Internet and listened to their mentors.

This year�'s theme was �"Nature�'s Fury" and the students had to come up with a solution to a problem dealing with natural disasters. The team decided to create a link on the American Red Cross website to help children like them prepare for a natural disaster.

Their display board featured a 3D tornado and information regarding their research project.

Jocelyn said the display board attracted a lot of attention because of the tornado, because not too many other teams featured the idea.

In the regional competition, the team placed 10th out of more than 30 teams and received the Core Values Award for their teamwork. It is their third time attending the state competition.

According to the Georgia First Lego League website, children between 9-14 are introduced to science and technology in a fun way. FLL involves not just robotics, but teams figuring out innovative solutions to real-world problems.

For more information about the Georgia FLL, visit www.georgiafll.org.

Page last updated Fri January 31st, 2014 at 00:00