Sparking Elementary Invention with Sumo-Bots

Looking for a robotics challenge to finish out the school year? Why not hold a Sumo-Bot competition?

Last May, I was invited to McCoy Elementary School in Georgetown, Texas to see the sumo robots in action. The little bots moved across a ring, attempting to push the other out, just like the traditional form of Japanese wrestling. After the competition, I chatted with G/T teacher Tina Bertucci, and she gave me the lowdown on their robotics adventure.

Tina started our conversation with, “I have been doing LEGO robotics for a long time with my G/T kids. But then, Janae Pierce, the librarian, and I got together and we wanted to have this opportunity for all students, not just gifted and talented.”  

Janae started the pilot program with ten LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kits. Students met in the library the first year with a 7:30 a.m. start. Tina said, “They loved it!” Several grants later, and all that student enthusiasm has taken them where they are now.

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