Madera students using LEGOs to help solve problems in community

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A group of Madera elementary students are already building on the lessons they've learned this school year.

John J. Pershing Elementary's First LEGO League gives students the chance to use LEGOs and robotics to find creative solutions to problems in the community.

"Today we talked to Mayor Medellin and asked him what are some of the problems Madera has," explained Head Robotics Coach Allison Bowman.

Their current challenge, known as City Shapers, requires students to look at problems in their own backyard and work together to find solutions.

"The kids have to research, interview people and present the information they find and a solution to the problem," added Bowman.

Today they met with Madera's Mayor to discuss city challenges and start brainstorming solutions together. Olivia, an aspiring computer engineer, says that's what this team is all about.

"It brought me out to talk to more people," explained 6th grader Olivia Moser, "Because I had to cooperate and talk to my team even if I didn't want to."

The team is comprised of 5th and 6th graders who meet before school. The goal is to teach teamwork, cooperation and much more.

"What it's like to cooperate, being able to speak to adults, and ask questions," adds Bowman. "They also learn technology is a way to solve problems in the community and the world."

In the coming weeks, they'll talk to engineers and contractors about how to find solutions to the issues before presenting their work at the end of the semester.

"It's a good avenue for them to determine what they want to do with their life," said Bowman.

They hope to enter their projects in a statewide competition at the end of the school year.
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