• By Ryan Farley, Extension Agent

4-H/Youth Development: Woodford County 4-H hosts, achieves at District 4-H Lego Robotics Competition


Nora Hanley, Addie Patterson and Grace Pitchford prepare their Lego EV3 Robot for the Soccer Challenge during the 2018 District 4 4-H Lego Robotics Challenge on Saturday, April 21, at the Woodford County Middle School. (Photo submitted)

On Saturday, April 21, over 100 youth, teens and adults spent the day at Woodford County Middle School competing in the annual District 4-H Lego Robotics Competition. These teams, representing four counties, including Woodford, Madison, Clark and Estill counties, spent the day testing, programming, building and competing with their Lego EV3 robots participated in two very different challenges until an overall winner was declared. For some, the contest wrapped up almost a year’s worth of practices, serving as a culminating event for a popular 4-H club offering that is continuing to grow.

The teams started the morning out with the Soccer Challenge. Utilizing a custom-built 6x6 ft. board, teams were tasked with programming and building a robot that would leave the designated starting area and “kick” six stationary plastic soccer balls into different sized “goals” with each goal being worth different points, depending on the size. Up to 13 points were available and each team had up to two minutes to complete the challenge. After lunch, 4-Hers competed in the Sumobot Challenge, which required the different teams to build and program their robot to be placed in a ring and upon starting, work to push another team’s robot out of the ring, similar to a sumo match from which the challenge gets its name.

Woodford County 4-H was represented by four teams and each team spent all spring practicing for the specific challenges. Teams included Zach Pantaliono and Jacob Woods; Nora Hanley, Grace Pitchford and Addie Patterson; Avery Franklin, Alex Muller, Cooper Westfall and Sean Williams; and Jasmine Williams and Andrew Scott.

Ribbons were given out to teams based on their scores and Woodford County scored well enough to earn two blue, one red and one white ribbon. Also, the top three beginner and advanced teams received medals, with the overall top team receiving a traveling trophy.

Woodford County scored high enough to be represented in this group as well. Team Unikitties 2.Whoa, featuring Nora, Addie and Grace finished tied for second overall and Team WC-SCAR, featuring Zach Pantaliono and Jacob Woods was the overall first place team in the beginner age group.

If you are interested in more 4-H Robotics and STEM activities, please call 859-873-4601 or email ryan.farley@uky.edu.

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