Photos courtesy Peter Xanthus
P.S. 71 students will compete in the FIRST Lego League on Jan. 13

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Four Queens middle school teams were victorious in the NYC FIRST Lego robot building competition on April 4-6.

The contest, which was held at the Jacob Javits Center, challenged students to construct robots from Lego blocks and navigate obstacle courses. More than 70 teams from the five boroughs competed this year.

The Hurricane Pandas of P.S. 94 in Little Neck won second place for the Champion’s Award, which is given for overall excellence and innovation. The Boogie Bots of Louis Pasteur Middle School in Little Neck won first for the Project Research Award for the research and problem solving category of the contest, while Bleeker All-Stars of Edward Bleeker Junior High School in Flushing won first for the Robot Design, Strategy and Innovation Award. And the M.S. 216 Ryan Lions of Fresh Meadows won first for the Robot Performance Award.

“I’m very, very proud,” said Peter Xanthus, a sixth-grade science teacher at M.S. 216 who advises the school’s team. “It’s been six years here and this is the first time we ever came in first place.”

As a part of the contest, children had to research and think of solutions together for when natural disasters strike, not only to introduce the students to engineering and robot building but also to teach the importance of teamwork.

“You could be the most brilliant person in the whole,” Xanthus said, “but if you don’t know how to get our thoughts across to other people, you won’t get anything done.”

 

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