I Robotics Going to Germany

Author: South Bend Tribune Report

South Bend Tribune, March 4, 2012

Members to compete in European Championchip.

SOUTH BEND -- The Robinson Community Learning Center's LEGO Robotics team, now in its fourth year, will go to Germany to compete in the Open European Championship June 7-9.

The Robinson Center's I-Robotics team, which includes 10 students ages 10 to 15 years old from schools in St. Joseph County, traveled to Fort Wayne in December to participate in the state tournament. Of 52 teams statewide, the Robinson Center team earned the top prize and the opportunity to compete in the competition in Germany.

The team members are Isaiah Crudup (St. Joseph's High School), Cambrin Dixon (Edison Intermediate Center), Thomas Forsythe (Schmucker Middle School), Malik Giger (Edison Intermediate Center), Andrew McDonald (Edison Intermediate Center), Hannah Moss (homeschooled student), Lydia Moss (home-schooled student), Philip Moss (Adams High School), Tiana Mudzimurema (Edison Intermediate Center) and Valencia Randolph (Edison Intermediate Center).

The team coaches are G. David Moss, assistant vice president of student affairs at the University of Notre Dame, and graduate assistant Lionel Pittman.

The I-Robotics team is a part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League, affiliated with the nonprofit organization FIRST, an international program that challenges students to develop presentations and design and program LEGO robots. This year's challenge was to find ways to prevent food contamination.

"This experience will fundamentally change these students' lives," Moss said, noting that many of the team members have never been far from South Bend. "Who'd have thought that students from inner-city South Bend would have an opportunity to travel to Europe?"

Moss is pursuing a patent for the team's solution.

"The students were charged with researching the various ways food can became contaminated, deciding which type of contamination to address, and coming up with an innovative solution to address that contamination," Moss said. "They decided to tackle the issue of fish being damaged in transport, and their innovative solution was a gel that could help protect the fish while being transported. Less damage to the fish would mean less bacteria growth, possibly a longer shelf life for the fish, and less waste."

The team will be putting together ways to raise funds throughout February. Each student has a certain amount of money he or she has to raise to go on the trip. Some parents and siblings also are expected to go on the trip.