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Robotics Past, Present, & Future

Posted on Feb 27, 2019 11:29:05 AM by Hannah & Elizabeth

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Greetings from Liberty Christian School in the year 2017.  In 2017, there was no robotics program and nobody knew if one even existed.   There were Legos, computers, Knex, and Erector sets.

Then one day, a parent began to explore the options for students to learn more about STEM.  In the late summer of 2017 robotics became a reality for five students, four boys and one girl.  That’s me, Hannah. LCS Robotics 2017

I was the only girl on the team. This  had its advantages and disadvantages. The boys mostly asked me to get things for them or to clean up stuff.  The boys really didn’t think much about me being there and often did their own thing until one day the coach asked the boys to do some documentation in the engineering notebook.

One of the boys responded with the comment,  “Can’t Hannah do that?”. Well... let me just say that never happened again.  My coach quickly stepped up to my defense and told the boys that I was not their secretary.  The whole dynamic of our team changed that day. I became one of the main coders last year and therefore did not do much building or driving.  We ended up having a very successful year with a great STEM project and went to the VEXIQ World Tournament.

 

LCS Robotics Vex ChampionshipThat was such an amazing experience.  I listened to so many motivational speakers who wanted to encourage the next generation of young kids to reach for the stars.  One person in particular that stands out in my mind is Ayah Bdeir. We have chosen her as our STEM role model because she was brave and found a way to make her dreams come true.

She is a female that had a dream and didn’t let anyone stop her.  I am sure that her girl power found it necessary to include men in the making of her Little Bits along the way but she did not let them take over her project.   She had a desire for electronics to reach the hands of all children, male and female. She did so with Ayah Bdeir Roboticsthe invention of Little Bits. They are like an electronic version of Legos.  They are so cool! She had done it, she stepped into a world where men mainly dominated and made herself known.

At the VEX IQ World Tournament she stood before me receiving the 2018 STEM
HERO award and was inducted into the REC Foundation Hall of Fame for her personal and professional contributions to young people.  Ayah said that the power of “electronics should be in everyone’s hands so that anyone can build, pro-type, and invent”. In 2014, Popular Mechanics recognized her as one of 25 makers who are reinventing the American dream for her creation of Little Bits.  Little Bits were created so that at the simplest level children and adults can play with lights, sounds, and sensors without any previous experience. How cool is that? I was so inspired by her that I couldn’t wait to get back to school to tell all my friends about it!   From that day forward everyone wanted to join the robotics team.

                                                                                               

Hannah LCS 2018 Hi, my name is Elizabeth.  

Let’s jump forward to the summer of 2018.  I am one of the girls that was touched by Hannah’s enthusiasm of robotics and her trip to the World Tournament.  

This summer LCS began enrollment for its next robotics team. Three of their original teams members were not going to return in the fall.  After having the first year behind them the LCS robotics team was ready to recruit for year two. This year we have grown from one team to three teams.  Guess what the boy to girl ratio is this year?

I will give you a hint…. It is not 4:1.   It is 7:7! We are equal in number. When we use the term GIRL POWER we do not stress that we are better than the boys.  We just want to encourage other girls to take the step into the STEM environment and see the many fun opportunities that are there for them to try.

LCS Robotics Family 2019

This picture shows the great support of our families.  Without them, none of this would be possible. They support us and our coaches.  They come to all of our tournaments and encourage us even when we don’t get a trophy.

We have as many girls interested as we do boys.  That is a great feeling to be in a group of equally diverse students.  Our LCS Robotics 2019 2coaches make sure that each of the students are equally challenged in all aspects of the program.  We all participate in brainstorming, building, coding, driving, and working in the engineering notebook.

LCS Robotics 2019We all take turns at doing everything so that we know all about our robot and how it was designed and built.  Some of us are stronger in certain areas than others, but we continue to encourage each other to learn and grow.  Our coaches make sure that there is never a job that is labeled as a boy/girl job and therefore we are all treated with equal challenges.  Our coaches really do rock ( by the way, we have two female coaches and one male coach)!

Now let’s travel to the state tournament and beyond… hopefully, the summer of 2019 will bring us even more excited participants and our teams will grow even more as more girls are empowered to step out and feel welcomed to join this crazy, fun, mind challenging, afterschool world known as robotics.  We are beginning to understand that it is about the journey and the things we learn and take with us along the way.

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Should my child join a robotics team?

Posted on Jan 16, 2018 12:00:00 PM by Laurel Robinson

You may have been hearing about robotic teams lately, and wondering if it’s a good fit for your child. There are several robotics teams in the area, and they are worth looking into!  

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First, though, consider the cost and the demand on your schedule.  Teams may meet 2-3 times per week, and fees of $100-$300 may be due up front.  If there is not room in your schedule during the school year, look into a summer robotics camp.

A robotics team can start as early as age 6-10, with a lego-based league that is a more gentle introduction to robotics principles. By high school, the teams are still fun, plus hard work, and more oriented toward coding and technology. FIRST calls their Robotics Competition “the ultimate Sport for the Mind,” and quotes its high-school student participants as saying it is “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” In addition to FIRST leagues and competition, there is also VEX Robotics with its own teams and competition schedule.

At any age, kids who participate in a robotics program can gain a variety of skills from the experience: in addition to analytical thinking, math, and coding, they will inevitably experience trial and error; problem solving, managing time, resolving conflict, working with a team. These are the kind of life skills that kids can only learn by doing.  

Liberty Christian School 2015-16 Year in Review Part 2

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Liberty Christian School 35th_Anniversary_1.jpgHere is a continuation of the list of some of the key events and activities that took place at Liberty Christian School during the 2015-16 school year.

5. ACSI Art Festival

In April, selected middle school students traveled to Lancaster County Christian school in Pennsylvania to represent our school for the first time in the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Art Festival.  While there they had the opportunity to participate in art workshops and view art entries from over 20 other schools.

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4. Race for Education Color Run

This year’s Race for Education included a colorful twist for our middle school students.  While completing their laps to raise funds for the school, students became living artwork thanks to the help of fun-loving teachers and parent volunteers who were strategically stationed throughout the race course and armed with condiment containers filled with colored corn starch.  This activity, which proved to be a big hit with race participants, certainly brightened an otherwise overcast day.

3. Blessings in a Backpack

As part of this year’s Race for Education festivities, our students had the wonderful opportunity to serve others by participating in a community service project for Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.  This project consisted of a food drive that offered both lower and middle school students the chance to purchase and donate food items as well as a packing event during which middle school students packed lunches for 85 students at two local elementary schools in Baltimore and Carroll Counties.  The school was also able to provide a monetary gift to Blessings in a Backpack from money raised during the Race for Education.

LCS_Archery.jpg2. New Archery Team

The sport of archery was introduced this year to Liberty Christian School thanks to a grant received from the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).  Archery teaches skills such as patience, maintaining calm under pressure, focus and self-discipline, balance and coordination, confidence and self-awareness.  After purchasing the necessary equipment, Mr. Frock and Mr. Dumas were able to begin an archery unit in PE and form an archery team.  In March, 26 members of the archery team participated in their first event, the Maryland National Archery in the Schools Tournament, held at the Carroll County Agricultural Center.  At the tournament, two of our lower school students achieved a top 10 ranking in the state for their age range.  Mr. Frock is looking to build on the success of this year’s efforts with the goals of continuing to develop our archers’ skills as well as competing in multiple tournaments next year.

1. Liberty Christian School Celebrates 35 Years

In 1980, Liberty Christian School started as a preschool in the basement of Liberty Church.  In the years that followed, the school grew both in terms of its offerings as well as its footprint as grades were added and the building was expanded.  Since the school’s opening, hundreds of LCS alumni have benefitted from a Christian education and have gone on to impact their families, jobs and communities.  This year, the school marked the school’s 35th anniversary and the LCS community enjoyed reflecting upon God’s goodness and provision over the years.  In addition to other events and activities to mark the occasion, the community celebrated this milestone in style at the Celebration Auction Gala in March.

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Liberty Christian School 2015-16 Year in Review Part 1

Posted on Jun 14, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

LCS_students.jpgIn the blink of an eye, another school year has come to an end.  Join us as we fondly recall some of the key events and activities that took place at Liberty Christian School during the 2015-16 year.

10. Lobby Renovations

The fundraising efforts of the Development Office and Parent Teacher Leadership (PTL) paid off when the school’s new and improved lobby area was unveiled at the start of the school year.  Cosmetic renovations included the addition of new laminate hardwood flooring as well as drywall and fresh paint.  Once the paint was dry, Art teacher Krista Quenzer designed a photo gallery on the wall opposite the front office that highlights LCS students.  And, thanks to a donation coordinated by a Liberty Christian School parent, the wall opposite the main entrance now features a large lobby display housing student work, sports and chess trophies, as well as Costa Rica mission trip memorabilia.  A TV monitor graces the same wall and displays a running scroll of photos as well as school news and announcements.  These changes have transformed a functional area into a warm and welcoming entryway to our school.

9. Spirit Wear

With last year’s introduction of a new school logo came the need to update our Spirit Wear collection.  This fall, that need was met with the introduction of a new and expanded line of vibrant clothing that students, teachers and staff, parents and alumni have been wearing to school as well as throughout the community to show their school spirit.

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8. 9- Square In The Air

9-Square In The Air is a new and exciting game that has become a big hit at churches, camps, schools and other similar venues.  Invented by a middle school pastor, this game is a 3D adaptation of the traditional ground-based 4- or 9-square game.  Thanks to Mr. Tibbels who discovered the game along with a generous donation from a Liberty Christian School community member, the school was able to purchase a game set this past school year.  The game, which is being used in PE class, middle school clubs and athletic department fundraisers, has become a big hit within our own student body.

LCS science_fair_2.jpg7. Science Fair

Middle School Science teacher Mrs. Mueller’s vision to provide her 8th grade students with a creative and experiential learning activity became a reality when the class hosted a science fair at the end of the school year.  For the project, students were given the freedom to select an experiment of interest to them and were then held responsible for gathering the necessary project materials, conducting the selected experiment, writing an 8-10 page project report, preparing a display, and presenting their findings at the in-house science fair.  The project was a great learning experience for those involved as it helped them further develop their skills in the areas of planning on a mass scale, time management, critical thinking and problem solving, verbalizing their thoughts and getting them down on paper, as well as presentation and public speaking.  The culimating science fair itself offered those in attendance, including our 6th and 7th grade students, teachers, staff, and parents the opportunity to learn from their findings.   Mrs. Mueller was pleased with the project outcome, impressed by the effort put forth, and hopeful the experience has prepared our 8th graders for the rigors of high school.

6. Helping Up Mission Visit

In January, LCS hosted the choir from Helping Up Mission (HUM), a community of hope which offers a comprehensive recovery program for men in Baltimore, Maryland.  Our 8th graders had the honor of serving lunch to the men and the entire school body participated in a Spirit-filled choir performance consistng of music and testimony of the unbelievable power of God to save and transform lives.

To be continued...

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