SJA Students Proceed to National Robotics Competition

Spokane Junior Academy students were amazed to discover they had won the North Pacific Union LEGO Robotics Tournament at Walla Walla College in April.Source: Spokane Junior Academy/Gleaner Online

[June 6, 2007] LEGO Robotics was a new experience last fall at Spokane Junior Academy.

Every Friday morning for one hour SJA students did LEGO Robotics. “My students worked hard to be ready to go to Walla Walla College in April for the North Pacific Union Tournament,” said Ruth Lenz, SJA teacher and Robotics coach. “We still felt like we weren’t sure what we were doing, but we had tried to do everything to the best of our ability.”

The students had a great attitude through the entire tournament, asking questions, cheering each other on, and saying repeatedly, “We’ll just do our best. It’s our first year.”

“We were amazed when the tournament emcee announced that our team, The Parabolas, had won first place!” said Lenz. They had no idea they were even in the running. Part of the SJA team had the privilege of going on to the national competition at Andrews University in May. They didn’t win, but had a great time and learned more about what to do better next year. They also had the opportunity for a field trip or two, including going to the Historic Adventist Village in Battle Creek and the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.

“If you haven’t considered trying LEGO Robotics at your school, give it a whirl,” says Lenz, “The benefits to my students were great: teamwork, problem-solving, encouragement, creativity, research, positive attitude, challenge, patience, gracious professionalism, overcoming stage fright, synthesis, stress relief without anger—we experienced all these things and more.”