Lebanon Reporter

Local News

November 9, 2013

Students share tech ideas

Zionsville — Imagine if any natural disaster could be avoided or at the very least mitigated.

Scientists have been working for years to try to solve that problem, but they may be getting a boost from a group of people in Zionsville — elementary school students.

Zionsville Community Schools, as part of the Eagle Recreation and Enrichment Program, have partnered with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’s (FIRST) Lego League to offer a robotics club at the elementary school level.

Matt Mulholland, a Zionsville Community High School teacher and coach of a robotics club team, said the program was on a trial basis last year at Eagle and Pleasant View elementary schools.

“Last year was a lot of success and a lot of fun,” he said. “We wrote a couple of grants for the Zionsville Education Foundation, and now we have 39 total robots not only for the club but for the (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program as well. Now kids will get to experiment with them in their classrooms as well.”

Six Zionsville teams will travel to Kokomo to compete in a the Lego League competition. Each team had to build a robot and program it to complete certain tasks, but the largest portion of the competition was designing a project to fit the theme. This year’s theme is natural disasters.

The Cyclone Cyclopes’ team, which includes members from Eagle, Stonegate, Union and Pleasant View elementary schools, came up with an idea to mitigate the power of a hurricane.

“We chose New Orleans for our community since they were hit by Hurricane Katrina,” said Eagle fourth-grader Jake Spolyar. “We were going to slow down a hurricane by buying a Russian typhoon class submarine because it can carry massive amounts of liquid nitrogen into the eye of the hurricane. Since a hurricane gather strength over warm water, we are going to release massive amounts of liquid nitrogen into the eye to cool the air and slow down the hurricane.”

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