A local Lego team is headed to the state finals competition this weekend after taking first place overall, finishing above more than 30 other teams during their FLL Regional competition in November.
Eagle One, a team made up of eight elementary, intermediate and middle school students from Hartland also took first place for innovation on their team project for an idea that focuses on enhancing the lives of the senior population.
The small team of seven boys and one girl chose to focus on fishing and created an invention that would help seniors bait their fishing hooks easier.
“We came up with the worm bait on,” eighth-grader Tyler Bye said. “Everyone likes to fish and we saw that it was hard for some of them and we thought they’d like to fish again.”
With their prototype made, research complete and robot ready, the small team will head back to Flint on Saturday to compete against some of the best teams in the state.
For some of the newest members, like Farms Intermediate student Andrew Ruf, this will be their first state competition.
Andrew, who joined the team because he liked Legos, “never really hated math,” and “didn’t have much else going on,” says it will be an exciting day.
“Who wouldn’t be excited?” the sixth grader said.
The young members of the Eagle One team are also quick to point out that it’s because of the hard work of their coach, Frank Tappen who also won Coach of the Year during Regionals, that they do so well in their competitions.
“He’s very patient with us,” fifth-grader Coby Johns said seriously.
Even though some members of the team admit they require “lots of patience to work with,” the small group also says they have fun and enjoy coming to practices with their team.
“We get to laugh and have fun,” Arianne Bye said. “Especially if the robot does something wrong.”
Members of Lego First Team include:
- Arianne Bye
- Tyler Bye
- Coby Johns
- Adam Kahl
- Andrew Ruf
- Lukas Tappen
- Noah Tappen
- Olivia Tappen: Team mascot and little sister
- Ryan Twomley
Coach: Frank Tappen
Assit. Coach: Crystal Bye
Robot’s Name: Wiggles