Sager Middle School students sixth at robotics tournament

The team of four students won a qualifying competition with its LEGO robot.

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COLLEGE PLACE - A team of students from Sager Middle School traveled to Eastern Washington University recently and placed sixth out of 20 in a regional LEGO Robotics competition.

Called "Bone Candy," the team of students - Jenna Martindale, Elden Griggs, Micah Wilwand and Andrew Ungerecht- participated in the 2010 FIRST LEGO League Tournament, held at EWU's Engineering School Dec. 4 and 11.

After taking top scores in teamwork and robot performance at the qualifying competition Dec. 4, the students traveled to the university again the following weekend and took sixth in overall robot performance, said coach Darin Durand. Durand is a math and science teacher at Sager.

The students build a robot out of LEGO's that was designed and programed to run challenges on an obstacle course at the tournaments. Popular among youth and young adults, LEGO Robotics challenges are yearly events that task students to build and program LEGO robots around a particular theme.

This year's theme was Body Forward - Engineering Meets Medicine, and explored the emerging field of biomedical engineering.

Table competitions require the robots to complete a series of challenges, centered around the theme, for points. This year's missions included bone repair, rapid blood screening, pace makers, nerve mapping, bionic eyes and object control through thought, according to the EWU website.

The FIRST LEGO League is focused on exposing children to science, math and technology.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

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