Robotics programs in each of our three divisions are designed to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future. Students who participate in FIRST programs are significantly more likely to attend college and major in science or engineering fields.
Lower School Junior FIRST® LEGO® League
Highland’s Junior LEGO League for students ages six to nine, is led by Lower School Science teacher Claire Mello and Lower School technology teacher Michelle Daniel-Shenk. The goal of the first rung of Highland's robotics program is to attract young students who have a passion for discovery.
Lower School teams are broken down by grade. Students work together to combine elements of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The hands-on projects using LEGO MINDSTORM kits that are essential to our Lower School robotics program create a stepping-stone from novice skill work to the Middle School’s FIRST LEGO League, and eventually Highland’s Upper School robotics program.
Each year, the teams are given a theme that they must plan their projects around. Recent themes have included “Super Seniors,” and "Trash Tech" in which the students design and build LEGO MINDSTORM robots that assist and benefit the elderly and the environment. The tasks assigned for the competitions are not easy, but Highland’s Junior LEGO League team members are always ready for the challenge.
Middle School FIRST® LEGO® League
In Middle School, our FIRST LEGO League team introduces students in grades 5-8 to real-world engineering challenges. Students build LEGO MINDSTORM robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams are coached by Highland teachers.
FIRST® Robotic Competitions in the Upper School
Membership on Team Robohawk is available to all students in grades 8th – 12th and no prior experience is required. Team members must demonstrate a willingness to learn and become an active and responsible member of the team. Because Team Robohawk is structured much like a small technology firm – with both a build and business divisions – it is managed and run by different students and mentors. While some students may find that their interests overlap, both sides of the teamwork coherently to offer a wide variety of opportunities for the team and its members.
In robotics, team members get the opportunity to work with adult mentors with expertise in business, computer, electrical, mechanical, aerospace and robotic engineering as well as work on projects, unlike anything they will experience in the classroom thus enabling them to discover the world of STEAM in a whole new way.
To learn more about the benefits of being involved in Highland's robotics teams competing in FIRST, click any of the expanding boxes below: