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Garden School in international Lego contest

Eric Barbera
An international Lego competition has some local flavor with a team of students from the Garden School participating in the event.

On Friday, December 4, teachers, parents, and students gathered at the Jackson Heights school to attend the school’s First Lego League (FLL) kick-off presentation. FLL is a contest for elementary and middle school students where they are charged to program robots constructed out of Legos to perform tasks.

The “Roboneers,” a team comprised entirely of students from the Garden School, spent the evening presenting and explaining various aspects of robot design and function, as well as demonstrating what the robots are capable of by programming them through obstacle courses.

“We’ve been having meetings since the summer,” Peter Glus, coach of the Roboneers, said. “The kids have put a lot of time and effort into making these robots. All the research, ideas and creativity of their projects has come from them.”

Each year, FLL gives Lego teams a real-world issue that will serve as the theme for the competition, and this year’s theme is automobile safety.

“This year’s theme is important because some people aren’t good drivers even though they have licenses,” said Roboneer Peter Kratz, a sixth grader at the Garden School, during his presentation.

“This competition and its theme are vital to us,” Said Glus. “It’s important to our family, friends and the community as a whole.”

With more than 7,000 FLL teams worldwide and 60 in Queens, there is no shortage of competition for the young team, but the Roboneers remain optimistic. The general feeling among the team is the same no matter who is asked: “Our team rules.”

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