'The Olympians' from Homes County Consolidated School District won a Core Values award at the First Lego League (FLL) qualifier challenge held on January 25th in Vicksburg, MS. The Olympians, a team consisting of students from William-Sullivan Middle and S.V. Marshall Elementary schools, participated in the robotics competition that introduces students to programming, coding, and engineering, and teaches them how to work collaboratively to solve a yearly robotics challenge. The foundation of the Core Values program emphasizes teamwork, discovery, and innovation. The 2019-2020 season, FIRST RISE SM, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change, program is meant to inspire citizens of the galaxy to work together, strengthen and protect the Force that binds us, and create a place where collaboration and collective wisdom can elevate new ideas and foster growth. The Olympians competed in the City Shaper challenge, where the team used a robot to navigate, capture, transport, activate, and deliver objects to complete a mission. The team also placed 5th in the Robot Scores Red Carpet City Shaper Qualifier challenge. Using educational, remote-controlled EV3 robots donated by MSU's CAVS-Extension, the students learned to build confidence, grow their knowledge, and develop habits of learning.
Since 2005, CAVS-E has offered a STEP program designed for K-12 students to obtain the education and skills they need for in-demand jobs and create a pipeline for manufacturing employers for high-demand, middle-skill positions. A STEP summer camp is held each year that offers basic engineering concepts, including structures, forces, motion, critical thinking skills, and problem solving skills. Students participate in activities that encourage exploration, design, and problem solving and learn the principles of the engineering concepts to assemble, design, and modify their own Microbit/LEGO robots and Pullback Cars. The STEP-Externship works with teachers to help them engage in strategies related to each activity, providing resources to help support in their teaching of core components and mentoring to help implement project strategies in their own classroom.