A Young Robotics Team becomes an inspiration in STEM in Loudoun County!

A young robotics team showcased their working robotic model at First Lego League Cargo Connect theme in Virginia. A year earlier, Myra Saxena was the only girl in her robotics summer camp and very intrigued about – Why aren’t there more girls in robotics and coding classes? 

A dancer at heart, Myra has been learning programming since she was 5 with her dad and mom. A handshake with Sec. Pete Buttigieg, a minute in his chair and picture with him inspired her to learn more about transportation. She dreamed of her own robotics team to participate in the First Lego League (FLL) Explore challenge.

Six of her classmates from grade 2-3 at the Academy of Christian Education, a renowned private school in Reston got together to take up the challenge.  They brainstormed about cargo delivery and challenges with last mile delivery.

The team started to build out their models one by one. The team built three long distance transportation modes (ship, train, and drone). “I enjoyed learning how to motorize the train”, said Aiden as he learnt how to use icon blocks in Spike. The team also built road transportation such as the truck and speed kart. “It was a lot of fun to create and code the speed kart”, said Aleena Grewal.

The team then built the destinations for cargo delivery like hospital, high rise apartment building and a school. When asked about her favorite part, Annalise Egwuatu mentioned “Teamwork is my favorite component of this challenge”. Rian Shetty loved researching and building models together.

To combine all the components, the team built and programmed a sorting center with safety features. “The fun part was to break our sorting center so many times in order to find our solution to fit in the motor, light and color sensor together”, said Myra. 

The team continued to work on the challenge and did not give up despite of hitting the rock bottom many a times. They even designed their team t-shirt. To break the tie, Aria Saxena the team’s 4-year-old support jumped in and selected a red shirt with M.A.A.A.R.S on it.

The lead coach Shweta Sinha is very passionate and confident about the prospects of the team.  When we asked her about what excites her the most, she said “The blend of Social and STEM activities in Lego Challenge is perfect for impact for kids at this age”. 

The team is looking forward to continuing this journey in next few years and is open contribute to our community by supporting and mentoring other new teams in the FLL Explore challenge. Please contact the lead coach, Sweta Sinha on Sinha_sweta@outlook.com for mentoring or coaching needs.