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"Mindtwisters" Capture Award at Competition

Robotics, Problem-Solving Competition Builds Teamwork Skills for South Hart Students


The South Hart Elementary Mindtwisters eye their robot as they complete a practice run before a competition in Adairsville.

A group of South Hart Elementary students are finding their niche in robotics, problem-solving — and teamwork.

“The Mindtwisters” are a team of STEAM students at South Hart Elementary School who compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League, a youth robotics competition focusing on the fundamentals of engineering as students explore real-world problems, learn to design and code and create unique solutions made with LEGO bricks and powered by LEGO Education robot.

Over the weekend, the Mindtwisters earned the Motivate Award in a competition at Adairsville Middle School. The Motivate Award, one of nine awards given at the competition, is awarded to the team who embraces the culture of FIRST LEGO League through team building, team spirit, and displayed enthusiasm.

South Hart Elementary STEAM Facilitator and 5th-grade teacher Tonya Bridges serves as the coach for the Mindtwisters.

“Our students were commended for solution sharing within their innovation project, delegating responsibilities and team work within the core values project, and using each of their individual strengths to contribute to the overall mission within robot design,” Bridges said about the accolades from the judges.

Prior to heading to Adairsville for the in-person robotics competition, the Mindtwisters met virtually with judges to discuss their innovation and core values project. For the project, students were tasked with solving the current supply chain problems. To solve the problem, the Mindtwisters designed and built a model of a cargo carrier that could traverse land and water, and also included a plane to land in tight areas to deliver packages. The team then had to explain the design to the judges and detail how they worked together as a team to solve the issue.

For the robotics competition, the Mindtwisters collaborated to build a robot from simply a box of Legos and a battery pack. Students program the robot by coding it to perform specific functions during a mission on a table with various Lego tasks. The robot then traverses the table and performs each task according to how the students code it.

“It’s been a lot of frustration, but a lot of fun too,” fifth-grade student Gabriel Pierce said about preparing the robot for the competition.

The Mindtwisters will now move on to the Regional competition in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Team members are Gabriel Pierce, Henley Skelton, Jyrese Quillian, Aubrey Layman, Ansleigh Bryson, Jackson Skelton, Wyatt Bailey, Maks Hurley, Harper Dickenson, and Kenzie McDuffie.