Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 7, 2013

Highland Elementary group going to World LEGO Expo

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — The usage of technology to improve the lives of seniors was the task of the Highland Elementary Junior LEGO League.

Upon interviewing a local senior, the elementary students discovered that car collisions are often the result of seniors' mistaking the gas for the brake pedal. The team of six students designed a LEGO robotics car to ensure safe driving for seniors. The team was among 450 U.S. Junior LEGO Leagues teams, and the Highland Elementary students were selected to go to the World Expo on April 24-28 in St. Louis.

Only 20 U.S. teams and 20 international teams are selected every year to advance to the World Expo.

Although the South Green Elementary team only attended the regional competition in December, Jeff Gibson, South Green Junior LEGO League sponsor said the kids learned a lot and had fun. Gibson said his team of seven fourth- and fifth-graders designed a prototype of a stuffed animal to hook up to an iPhone or iPad to remind seniors to take their medications or about upcoming doctors’ appointments. They called the prototype, iPet.

“I liked that there was a lot of room to expand with it,” Gibson said.

He said the biggest challenge for the group was working against a tight deadline. They received all the materials in early September and had to have the project ready for regionals in early December.

“That’s not a lot of time, especially with kids who have other after school commitments,” he said.

Glenda Reid, the Kids Club after school program coordinator said the project was entirely student run. She said her assistant Brittany Smith just gathered the materials for the group, but they interviewed the senior partner, researched and developed the idea.

Reid said the team has learned a lot through the trial and error process. She said the first cars they made were too little and didn't work well.

Read the full story in Friday's print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.