Brian Johnson, the lead robotics coach of The Kings and Queens, shared how the Monroe Robotics Program started.
“As many of you know, we have been taking our robots out to our elementary schools and to community events for many years. Over that time we have had countless conversations with parents, teachers, local organization members, and school and district staff members about the FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics program for 3rd through 6th graders. We have been trying for all that time to get FLL teams started at any of Monrovia's elementary schools but somehow, though interest was there, in the end, it just never came together. Until this year.
In October we were invited to bring our portable demonstration field and robots to the Halloween Festival at Monroe Elementary. While we were there, we were approached by a Monroe parent who asked the same question we have been asked for years, "why isn't there a robotics program for elementary schools?" So we told her about the FLL program and how it works and offered to assist if Monroe was to move forward. She went off to confer with the principal and we assumed that would be the end of it, but a while later she did something no one had yet done before, she came back! And said they were going to make it happen. That parent was Tammi Rogers, and we shout out a big HUZZAH! of thanks and appreciation for her efforts.
Because last Wednesday (February 6, 2019) after school, Monroe Elementary School held the very first session of their new FLL robotics program with 18 very happy and excited students on three different teams, six each for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Three of our team members were there, along with members of the Clifton Hippie Bots team. And we are working together alongside Tammi, Ms. Eva Kum, and other Monroe staffers to make the program a success. We were amazed by the enthusiasm and focus those young robotics enthusiasts show, and we predict big things will come out of their collective talents.
And if it is a success, and we expect it to be, we will contribute our knowledge and energy to help expand the Monroe program to include more students on more teams, and to bring the program to the other schools where it will be the ideal partner with the coding academies that are already running. In addition to our desire to share our love of robots, building, and technology with our younger fellow students, our long-term motives are purely selfish because we see a future in just a couple short years where students will be entering our middle schools already being knowledgeable robot builders and programmers, and then they will come to MHS as 9th graders being robotics experts. And that will make all our MHS teams even greater than we are now, and make the City of Monrovia into a student robotics powerhouse.”
Application for Monroe FIRST Lego League Robotics Pilot Program
A. Application process:
1. Complete the application process and return to Monroe elementary by the deadline.
2. NO EXCEPTIONS, applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.
3. A submission letter from the student, this is a student application process, the students must reflect their words for applying to Monroe’s FIRST Lego League Robotics Program.
4. This After School Robotics Program will be on Wednesdays from 2:50 PM to 3 PM.
5. The applications will be reviewed by a selection panel based on specific program criteria.
B. Who we are looking for to join us in this first year of the robotics program:
1. Commitment to the robotics program; assigned homework is required to be completed prior to each session.
2. Seriously interested in a project-based curriculum that has study components, a team-based competition component, a software/programming component, and a building component.
3. Displays R.O.A.R (Respect-On Task-Attitude-Responsibility) behavior, committed attendance, and a true interest in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math).
4. If you have done some programming in a structured language, then you will likely do better than if you have not. Programming experience is not required to enroll, but it helps.
5. Creative students with problem-solving skills want to have fun learning!