Area teams take home awards in West Virginia LEGO robotics tournament

WHEELING — Three area teams competed Saturday, Dec. 11, in the West Virginia FIRST LEGO League robotics tournament at Wheeling Jesuit University.

The theme of this year's event, which was sponsored by the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, was “Body Forward — E ngineering Meets Medicine.”

The competitors, ages 9-14, programmed their LEGO robots to perform medical repairs, and the students also researched medical concerns in their communities and proposed biomechanical solutions. Thirty-two teams consisting of more than 250 participants competed in the tournament.

The Robosapiens, made up of team members from Huntington, Barboursville and Hurricane, won second place in the “Research Presentation” and “Robot Performance at Table” categories. Team members are Micah Lewis, Isaac Fry, Phil­lip Taylor, Ethan Fry and Drew Lewis. They are coached by Shawn Lewis and Aaron Fry. The team is part of Eaglesnest Robotics, a home school robotics club.

The Beverly Hills Biomedical Engineers of Huntington came in second place in the “Robot Design” category and fourth place in the “Robot Performance at Table” category. Team members are John Holbrook, James Holly and Yazan Khader. They are coached by Montserrat Miller.

The Culloden LEGO Cats also participated in this year's tournament. They are coached by Greg and Tammy Pearson. Team members are Shane Pearson, Bryan Jeffers, Matthew Thomas, Brittian Duffer, Jacob Straley, Vanessa Straley. They attend Milton Middle School.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League was created in a part­nership between FIRST and the LEGO Company in 1998. More than 48,000 children participate in the program.

Photos by Mark Webb/The Herald-Dispatch

Issac Fry, Micah Lewis, Philip Taylor, Ethan Fry, and Drew Lewis of Eaglesnest Robotics pose for a photo with their robot named “Data Bot” after winning the robotics competition in Morrow Library at Marshall University on Dec. 4 in Huntington.

The Culloden LEGO Cats pose for a photo following the robotics competition.

John Holbrook, Yazan Khader, and James Holley of the Beverly Hills Biomedical Engineers pose for a photo after the robotics competition in Morrow Library at Marshall University.