Taking Kevin to Flagstaff: Local students participating in robotics competition

December 8, 2018

FORT MOHAVE — Some middle-schoolers from Desert Star Academy are taking a high-tech field trip.

They’re taking Kevin with them.

Eight students — none named Kevin — are going to Flagstaff on Saturday for a Lego Robotics competition.

The team’s goal is to complete as many of about 10 tasks as possible within the allotted time.

Technology teacher and coach Carolynn Johnson said the theme of this year’s competition is “into orbit,” and the tasks simulate things that might have to be done during a NASA mission.

They include sending a cart down a ramp, crossing craters and placing a tiny astronaut into a capsule.

Eight of the 27 teams will move on to the Jan. 19-20 First Lego League Championship at Arizona State University.

The students and coaches Johnson and Brandy Harabedian expressed confidence that the team will do well.

“They’ve been working well together,” Harabedian said. “They’ve been doing so great.”

She said her goals for the students include using the competition to hone their teamwork and life skills.

Besides building and programming the robot, named Kevin, the team has to complete a research assignment around the theme.

The Spartan Stackers chose to discuss human waste in space, proposing a vacuum system to improve on the plastic bags astronauts now use.

Team member Samira Boudjouk said the waste could be packaged for transport back to earth for proper disposal.

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