Three Armand Larive Middle School robotics teams are scheduled to compete in the Intel Oregon FIRST® (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) LEGO® League 2017 Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, December 10, at The Dalles Middle School. The students will be led by Mr. Ben DeCarlow, science teacher and robotics advisor.

The competition has different age brackets: grades K-4, grades 4-8, grades 7-12 and grades 9-12. Armand Larive students will participate in the grades 4-8 age bracket, in which elementary and middle school-aged students research a real-world engineering challenge such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are charged to develop a solution. This year’s challenge is HYDRO DYNAMICSSM.

The three ALMS teams are composed of 4-10 students. Each team will need to design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a tabletop playing field. If Armand’s robotics teams are successful in the competition, the teams will be able to attend the state championships in January.

“I am very proud of what all three teams have accomplished,” said Mr. DeCarlow. “It has been really fun to see each team as they have grown and developed over the course of the year. I am ready for our first competition of this year; so I can see all of the hard work and effort put in by all of my students pay off.”

The teams will be guided by the following fundamental FIRST® LEGO® core values:

  • Participants are a team.
  • The work is done to find solutions with guidance from coaches and mentors.
  • The coaches and mentors do not have all the answers; all learn together.
  • The spirit of friendly competition is honored.
  • The importance lies on what is discovered not so much on what is won.
  • The experience is shared with others.
  • Gracious Professionalism® and Cooperation® is displayed on everything done.

The Armand robotics program is set up as a class and club. The students are required to take the class, and they have the opportunity to meet after school as part of the Robotics Club. Last year, the robotics program started out with talented and gifted students from both Sandstone and Armand Larive. This year, the club is only offered at Armand Larive for all students that want to participate.

To learn more about the FIRST® LEGO® League tournament visit