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Alpine Elementary School has been holding a robotics club all year long. Since September, the club met between three and five hours each week and spent 7 Saturdays at tournaments. As the robotics season comes to a close, we would like to celebrate all of the hard work and dedication each student has put into building and programming their robots, and recording every thought, idea, change, challenge, and success in their engineering notebook. These teams have learned programming skills, engineering skills, 21st Century Skills and so much more during their time together. We are so proud of every student, and have had the best year yet!
Along with celebrating everyone, we especially want to celebrate two teams that qualified for the Colorado State Vex IQ Robotics Championship. These two teams, Magneto and The Elemental STEM Dragons, qualified by winning state-specific awards - not an easy feat! Along with 28 other regional teams, Magneto and The Dragons competed and collaborated with other elementary school students from SVVSD and surrounding areas.
At the State Championship, Magneto won several awards. One of these awards, the Design Award, is given to teams who have an excellent engineering notebook, understand and can explain the design of their robot extremely well, and are able to articulate the thought process around the design of their robot. As a result of winning the Design award, Magneto qualified for the VexIQ Robotics World Championship! The event will be held in Louisville, Kentucky in April 2016. Team Magneto will represent SVVSD, along with two other SVVSD teams from Central Elementary and Longmont Estates.
As an IB / STEM school, our focus is on much more than just academics. We want our students to be successful human beings in this world. One element of both IB and STEM is the attitude of Empathy. When we develop empathy for others, we understand how they feel and what they need. While at the state championship, Magneto did just this. They empathized with another team, and decided to give away one of their awards. Here's why…
During the award ceremony, the person handing out a 2nd place award accidentally gave it to the 3rd place team. Upon realizing the mistake, the judges had that team return the award, and gave it to the true recipients of the award, Team Magneto. Putting themselves in the other team's shoes, Magneto took it upon themselves to give the award to the team to whom it was initially given, honoring this team’s hard work and dedication. This was done privately, without need for attention or accolades. Magneto did it because they felt it was the right thing to do. This is an IB student attitude, through and through! The kids that make up team Magneto showed empathy towards the other team and were very open-minded in understanding how the kids on the other team were feeling. It was an incredibly unselfish gesture that made us proud. Influential action can occur in all shapes and sizes. This is evidence that IB students are empowered to make a positive difference in others' lives.
IB, STEM and Vex all foster skills that are important to being active members in our local and global communities and we are so fortunate that these philosophies, processes and program have a home at Alpine. Congratulations to the Alpine Vex Club, The Elemental STEM Dragons, and Magneto for being the change.