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BMAC STEM students earn top awards at Lego Challenge

Three teams comprised of B. McDaniel’s 18 best STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students earned top trophies at this year’s rigorous Lego League Challenge on February 12th at Adamson High School in Dallas. The goal of the competition: to inspire and motivate young people through hands-on STEM learning.

Sixth grade science teacher Elena Kinghorn, who coached the teams with fellow teachers Kim Blaquiere, Stephanie O’Neal and Chris Turner, says this year’s challenge was all about cargo, with prescribed phases that required students to think critically, solve complex problems, work well together as teams, and execute effectively.

“The first phase challenged students to build and code a Lego robot designed to successfully move and deliver a variety of cargo blocks,” said Kinghorn. “Teams earned points from judges based upon the overall difficulty and success of their completed missions.”

The next phase of the competition required students to research and design a real-world cargo problem, solve the problem in an innovative and effective way, then present their plan to a panel of expert STEM judges.

“Each team had five minutes to present their problem and proposed solution before the judges,” said Kinghorn. “Students received points based upon the development, clarity and validity of their problem-solving skills as well as their public speaking abilities.”

At day’s end, each B. McDaniel Team brought home coveted trophies.

The “Super Sloths” team received the Core Values Award for displaying extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit, knowing they can accomplish more together than they could as individuals, and showing each other and other teams respect at all times.

The “Half and Half” team earned the Breakthrough Award, which celebrates a team that made significant progress in their confidence and capability in both the Robot Game and Innovation Project, whose members are shining examples of excellent Core Values, and who demonstrate that they understand that what they discover is more important than what they win.

The “Above Average Fish” team received the Rising All-Star Award which celebrates a team that the judges notice and expect great things from in the future.

Half and Half and Above Average Fish teams will compete at the championship meet on March 5th.

“All of these students are enrolled in our district’s Gifted and Talented program, so they’re accustomed to thinking critically in order to solve complex problems,” said Kinghorn. “Lego League competition just allows them to take their knowledge and skills to the next level. They practiced long hours after school to prepare for this rigorous competition…and they succeeded on so many high levels. I speak for myself as well as Kim, Chris, Stephanie and everyone at B. McDaniel when I say that we are extremely proud of what these amazing students have achieved…and we applaud them for jobs well done.”

B. Mac students who competed in this year’s Lego League Challenge are: Brinley Brown, Sophia Carbajal, Lynli Dickinson, Addison Jackson, Vivian Marquez, Jaya McKoy, Rylan Perkins, Chase Courtright, Andrew Kinghorn, Alma Magers, Jose Salgado, Heather Abbott, Maxton Harbour, Jake Mihm, Jonathan Peterson, Alex Sharp, Manuel Verduzco and Itzaak Villalobos.


Eighteen of B. McDaniel’s best STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students earned top trophies at this year’s rigorous Lego League Challenge on February 12th at Adamson High School in Dallas. The goal of the annual team competition: to inspire and motivate young people through hands-on STEM learning.



A team of B. McDaniel students watched with excitement as the robot they built and programmed successfully delivered cargo blocks during a recent pre-competition practice session. “These students practiced long hours after school to prepare for this rigorous competition…and they succeeded on so many high levels,” said B. McDaniel Science teacher Elena Kinghorn.



A high energy team of B. McDaniel STEM students presented their “Solar Powered Cargo” research project, complete with concise explanations of the project and effective solutions, during a recent practice presentation in front of local judges.



A team of B. McDaniel 6th graders ran their Lego robots through dozens of pre-competition practice drills prior to the Lego League Challenge on February 12th at Adamson High School in Dallas.



Sixth graders Andrew Kinghorn (left) and Chase Courtright fine-tuned their robot several days prior to the 2022 Lego League Challenge, making sure that is was successfully programmed to move and deliver cargo blocks according to their prescribed plan.

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