Meadow Hill wins First Lego League Challenge

Meadow Hill Middle School’s eighth grade “Roboticks” team took first place in the Innovative Solution category at the First Lego League Challenge in Bozeman on Jan. 27-28.

They competed against more than 70 teams statewide. C.S. Porter Middle School’s “Twine Busters” team won second place, competing in the Project Presentation category.

 The challenge this year, “Animal Allies,” required students to identify a problem where humans and animals interact, and design a solution. They received feedback from professionals and others who participate in their particular interaction.

Roboticks designed a safe alternative to bear spray — a quick-inflating backpack — to deter bear attacks. They conducted research, consulted bear experts, and developed a memorable presentation for their Bear Be Friends backpack.

The Twine Busters found that osprey and their young can get caught in twine that they salvage from fields and landfills to build their nests, and they can get injured or die. The students’ solution was to start a program that recycles the used pieces of twine into new baling twine, benefiting both the environment and osprey. The team received help from ranchers along the Blackfoot valley and Missoula area recycling businesses.

Porter sixth grade teacher Scott Edge was also named Robotics Coach and Mentor of the Year.