Hendersonville Lego League teams ready to compete
by The Press and Standard | November 14, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 13, 2019 at 11:13 am
Last week, the Hendersonville Elementary School’s Lego League teams were headed into the home stretch in their preparations for the state qualifier competition this Saturday.
Away from the action, fifth-grader Sydney Pedigo was typing on a laptop. Vikram Kharod, who coaches the Hendersonville teams with Inez Pierce, explained that Pedigo was preparing an information sheet that detailed information for the teams and projects. The judges in the competition will use the information provided on the sheet in their assessment of the teams.
Pedigo said that the theme for this year’s Lego League competition is “City Shaper.” The students are to examine the city’s infrastructure and suggest possible improvements.
The team that Pedigo belongs to is examining entertainment options in Walterboro for children. Fifth-grader Lillian Owenn, a member of the other Hendersonville team, was busy working on the poster that will be used as part of their presentation to the judges. They are looking at the possibility of attracting more child-friendly restaurants to Walterboro.
Walterboro Mayor Bill Young and City Manager Jeff Molinari were invited to meet with the teams and provide data about the city to the students.
Fifth-grader D’Khari Amir Henry-Riley was at the obstacle course in the middle of the room, working to get his team’s robot to complete one of its assigned tasks. The goal, he explained, “is to get as many missions done as possible in the time limit.”
Henry-Riley then turned over the obstacle course to three members of the other team’s robotic crew: Galil Frazier, Tyrone Gardner and John William Hiers.
Their goal was to get their robot to complete one of the harder tasks on the course.
Their robot has to leave the starting area, travel about three feet, execute a turn and go up a ramp barely wider than the robot.
The team has named their robot but its unpronounceable — it’s the initials of the four members of the team. The fourth member is Sydney Pedigo, who was still busy on the laptop.
In another section of the classroom, Janeecia Pruitt and Ka’Mya Williams, both fourth graders, were putting the finishing touches on their team’s Core Values poster, which be used in another presentation the team will make to the judges.
Pruitt said the Core Value goal is to “respect your teammates, treat others as you want to be treated.”
The members of its school’s ELE Junior League team will join Hendersonville’s two Lego League teams at the competition.
Ed Williams, who heads the Lego League program for Colleton County School District, said 11 of the 25 Lego League teams will participate in the state qualifier held at the Colleton Middle School on Nov. 16 beginning at 8 a.m.
The school district will have two teams from the middle school and two elementary school teams each from Hendersonville, Cottageville, Forest Hills and Northside. Bells Elementary School will send one team.
The members of the ELE Junior League from Northside, Cottageville and Hendersonville will compete against themselves.
Williams explained that the Junior League, made up of second- and third-graders at the three schools, was established this year. “We wanted to get them started in the program,” Williams explained. They are working on some of the same missions as the Lego League participants. “They are doing the same things the bigger kids are doing, but on a smaller scale.”
Hendersonville Junior League members De’Andre Jenkins and Josiyah Ford, both third graders, explained how they were constructing a crane that would lift a weight up and down.
Third-grader William Polite proudly announced, “We are the HES robot builders.”
Coach Dinah Bryant said even though the Junior League is in its early stages, “we are doing pretty good.”
Bryant is learning along with her students — it is her first year as a coach. The Junior League, she added, has benefitted from the help of Hendersonville Lego League Coach Vikram Kharod. “He has really assisted us and guided us. He has been a big inspiration.”