4-H Afterschool Robotics Teams Compete

Congratulation to the Delaware Military 4-H Robotics Club who placed first in the Teamwork this past Saturday at the Delaware First Lego League Regional Competition at Delaware State University in Dover. The 4-H Afterschool Tech Wizards Robotics Clubs sent three teams to the competition as part of a program funded by a National 4-H Council grant from the Office of Juvenile Delinquency Prevention. The teams meet each week starting in September designing and programming Lego robots to compete in the First Lego League Robotics Competition challenge held in January. Each week was spent in building their robot, practicing missions on the challenge board and building teamwork in preparation for the event.  This year’s “Trash Trek” theme created high interest among the youth and mentors as they designed innovative solutions to real world environmental issues using technology to solve their identified problem.  At the competition, each team met with the judges to present their innovative research project, demonstrate their robot design, and demonstrate their team problem solving skills.  Then each team put their robot through three rounds of the challenge course simulation hoping to complete the most missions in a two-minute time limit.  Parents, mentors and friends watched and cheered as the participants put their robots through the mission challenges all hoping to make it to the championship level.

Working with Lego Robotics in an 4-H afterschool club is a great way to build lifelong assets in academics, social skills, and community leadership.  The camaraderie that develops uses the talents and skills of each child to build a group that really values teamwork and fun and friendly competition.  Several of these shy 6th grade students were able to establish their niche in middle school gaining confidence among their peers and developing a very positive outlook toward academics and future goals.  The parents of these youth were also very supportive attending the Robotics Competition and expressing positive feedback and appreciation for their child’s opportunity to attend the 4-H afterschool program.

Research shows that the middle school years are critical for the development of supportive relationships with peers and adults, maintaining a commitment to learning, and gaining confidence in future goals. Meeting each week with mentors and coaches in the robotics club provided opportunities for the youth to strengthen these important developmental assets that often drop off in the middle school years without strong youth development programming. Participation in extracurricular programs that develop the assets of positive peer influence, other caring adult relationships, high expectations, and parental involvement creates a caring school environment supporting youth in their middle school years.


Delaware 4-H Military Robotics Team wins the Teamwork 1st Place Trophy at the Delaware First Lego Regional Competition on Saturday 1/30/16


4-H Afterschool at Shue Middle School – Robotics Team is all smiles at the First Lego League Regional Competition.


4-H Afterschool at Kirk Middle School – Robotics Team youth and coach practicing their robot missions at the First Lego League Lego regional competition.