FIRST Lego League Regional Championships

Destin MS Robotics Team

Our youngest roboticists, elementary and middle school students, advanced to the regional championships.  Okaloosa County School District teams included three teams from Davidson Middle School (Coach Tim Sexton), two teams from Shoal River Middle School (Coach Laurie Allen), one team from Mary Esther Elementary School (Coach Chase Hilyer), two teams from the STEMM Academy (Coach Jennifer Keil & Coach Beth Hanning), one team from Laurel Hill School (Coach Kathleen Redfern), one team from Destin Middle School (Coach Dawn Pack), and one team from Bob Sikes Elementary School (Coach Dottie Holland).

What stood out was the students’ resilience, determination, and persistence.  When things did not go right, a mission failed or a program was executed in error, these students did not accept defeat.  They did not blame others or themselves; they hunkered down and worked as a team to overcome the setback.  This is the hallmark of winners.  Truly, every student in attendance was a winner.

Okaloosa County teams that advanced to the State Championship made up 11 of the 24 teams in attendance from across the panhandle of Florida.  What an accomplishment for these teachers and mentors that gave selflessly of their time and energy to coach and nurture these young minds.  These students are truly preparing for the future by learning to work in a team, solve problems with critical thinking methodologies and applied mathematics and science principles.  Students used their skills learned in Language Arts classes to communicate their solutions to the judges—in verbal, written and visual form.

Okaloosa County School District teams advancing to the state tournament are:

Strategy & Innovation Award – Mary Esther ES “ThunderBots”

Mary Esther Robotics Team

Programming Award – STEMM Academy “STEMM Stingers”

STEM Stinger

Teamwork Award – STEMM Academy “STEMM Swarm”

STEM Swarm

Gracious Professionalism Award – Davidson MS “Give Me Some Space”

Davidson MS

Additional awards from the Regional Championship include:

Research Award – Davidson MS “JAVA Da-Hut"

Research Award – Davidson MS “Da-Hut"

Innovative Solution Award – Bob Sikes ES “Rockin Robots”

Bob Sikes Robotics Team