New program builds teamwork and confidence

The impressive lists of awards and even-longer list of honors students tells us that the Indian River School Dsitrict does a very admirable job in teaching our children what they are expected to be taught.

But we all know there is more to school than the basics of arithmetic and English.

School is also the first exposure many children have to socialization, responsibility and teamwork. It is where young people learn that it is vital to work with others to accomplish some goals, and that each individual must pull his or her weight to reach that destination.

One group of students is learning that valuable lesson through robotics. And Legos.

The “Block Busters,” made up primarily of students from Selbyville Middle School, is participating in their inaugural year as members of the First Lego League (FLL), competing against other schools from across the state in Lego-based robotics competitions. The FLL also assigns teams theme projects, where they must build, program and operate robots to perform certain tasks.

“It’s not just one person programming,” explained Coleman Woodard, a fourth-grader and the team’s youngest member. “It’s all of us coming together and thinking and doing it.”

Chester Boggs is the coach of the Block Busters, and has been involved with FLL for nine years. He believes his team, while relative novices, is improving quickly.

“We’ve come a long ways,” said Boggs. “We were looking at 129 points the first scrimmage, and they were over 327 at the tournament. They’re on track to be somewhere in the 450-490 range.”

It is always a good thing to see young people get involved, and more rewarding when we get to see them improve.

Best of luck to Boggs and the Block Busters.