Duluth Edison Charter Schools

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Welcome to DECS Robotics! 

Elementary Program Update 

fll mat
We are going to be offering Spring Robotics after school classes for students in grades 3-5 at North Star and Raleigh. These classes are open to students who may be interested in learning about Lego Robotics with an emphasis on learning the basics of programming your robot to perform tasks such as drive in a straight line, turn accurately, program and incorporate sensors, learn how to build a programming block, and more. This class will give students the basics to help them be successful in FLL (First Lego League) Competitions next year and beyond.

Thanks to generous donations and sponsorships, we have been able to add more kits to our robotics program so we now have the capacity to offer this class. We are going to keep the class sizes small 2-3 students so that everyone can have a lot of time working with the programming and the bot. Depending on the interest, we may not be able to accommodate all students, if we get more students than we have spots, we will hold a lottery to randomly select students to attend.

We are going to need lots of coaches/mentors to lead these groups. If you are willing to coach/mentor a group your child will automatically be placed onto your team. We will have a training/orientation for all coaches once we have our team's established. Some parents are hesitant to lead a group because of not having experience or a background in Legos, robotics, or programming. Often these are some of the best coaches because they allow the students to do the discovering and to work through any issues on their own. Absolutely no experience is necessary. The coach/mentor's role is to facilitate the group and make sure that everyone has a role, is able to participate, and help team problem solve if/when stuck. The training will help familiarize coaches with the equipment and the program and should allow you to hit the ground running with your group. Also - if at any point you have questions or concerns, we are here to help you out.

Practices will start after winter break (after the coach's orientation) with teams typically meeting one day per week from 4:15-5:30 or so. Coaches will be able to decide which day of the week they would like to have practice. Teams can certainly meet more than once a week if they would like and that would work for that team - but minimally we would like to see teams at least meet once per week. The plan is to have practices up until we have our Robotics Open House around mid-May. At that event, teams would be able to present what they have learned and accomplished along with the FLL and FTC Robotics teams. So it will be a March/April-ish season with 10-12 practices if teams meet once per week and we can get started pretty quickly after Winter Break.

If your child would like to participate in the Spring Elementary Robotics, please fill out this form. All sign-ups are due no later than February 17. We will be contacting families via email the week of February break (Feb. 20-24) to confirm coaching and student participation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Steve Ondrus at steve.ondrus@duluthedison.com

 Link to Google Form Sign Up:  

Warmest Regards,

Steve Ondrus

Robotics Coordinator - DECS


FLL (First Lego League) News

 FLL Table Our six Jr. Academy FLL teams competed at the Marshall Tournament on Dec. 3rd.  We had five rookie teams that were participating in their first FLL tournament action.  The teams were very busy throughout the day presenting their project, demonstrating their robot engineering and programming, exhibiting their core values, and also taking runs on the competition robot tables.  Our teams performed wonderfully and it was a great day for all the students and coaches!  Techno Turtles One of DECS teams, the Techno Turtles, won the Core Values award!  Congratulations to those team members and their coaches.  All students and coaches put in many, many hours to get ready for this competition and a huge congratulations to all!  
A special thank you to our great coaches:  Scott Deasy, Steve Graham, Scott Wegler, Tim Ashbaugh, Carly Beckwith, Missy Ross, Barbara Weinstein, and Ryan Kaspari.  They worked very hard this year and without them this robotics season would not have been able to happen.

FTC News

The Duluth Krakens Shine at North Branch Tournament 

award The DECS Duluth Kraken Robotics team had an outstanding day at the North Branch Tournament. We held the top spot during the robot game rounds a couple of times and won 3 of our 5 matches. We lost a really close match with the defending state champions and for the first time in our team’s short history, finished high enough to be an alliance captain. That meant we were one of the top performing teams and got to choose two other teams to join us for the Alliance Final Rounds. We had to face off again against the defending state champs and gave them a good run, but ended up losing in the 2 out of 3 match round. During the awards ceremony, our team was chosen to receive the Judge’s Award which is given out to a team who excels, but whose work maybe does not slot directly into one of the other award categories. As the judges spoke about why our team was selected, they recognized how our team embodied the FIRST Ideas, how they planned and built using an engineering design robot game process, how they learned from their failures and did not give up, how they worked with a purpose, and how they really demonstrated teamwork. In fact, as the judge was describing our team, she ended up getting choked up with emotion in front of a gym full of students and families. It was a really big compliment to the team. She even made a point of talking to the coaches about how impressed she was with the kids. A huge thank you to Coaches Dan Johnston, Mike Engen, and Jann May for their work with the team this season. It was a great way to cap off the season with an exciting meet!
View more images from the North Branch meet HERE.

To Sponsor or Donate to our Robotics Program:  

To donate, make checks payable to DECS with an indication on the memo line that it is for DECS Robotics and send to:DECC

Duluth Edison Charter Schools

℅ Steve Ondrus

3301 Technology Dr.

Duluth, MN 55811

Or  visit our “go fund me” page to make an online donation: gofund.me/DECSRobotics