Gladstone-LINC partnership creates first competitive robotics club

Gladstone Elementary students overcame the challenges of responding to natural disasters on a global level Sat., December 14.

Gladstone Elementary in the Kansas City Public Schools competed in the First LEGO League (FLL) Tournament No. 4 for the first time at Wyandotte High School. Nine 3rd-6th grade students represented Gladstone as Team Hydrogen and competed against 600 kids from around the country.

FLL is an international science and technology competition designed for students to use classroom knowledge on a world-wide scale. During the competition, students programmed robots as part of the LEGO building challenge in which the robots has to complete a series of tasks. Teams also created a project in response to the the competition theme: Nature's Fury.

"It's exciting to bring this to the kids," said Robert Manly, 4th grade teacher at Gladstone Elementary. "It's an exciting opportunity for hands-on activity for the kids."

According to Manly, 44 students applied to join the first robotics club at Gladstone Elementary and only 14 could be selected.

Manly started a robotics club at Gladstone through a partnership with LINC.

According to Roosevelt Dickerson, LINC site coordinator at Gladstone, the purpose of the robotics club is "To help the kids who are technically and mechanically oriented."

"LINC was pretty pivotal in forming the robotics club," said Manly. "Looking at the sample budget, LINC was a major funder for the year [by] purchasing the robotics kits and registration fees-which aren't cheap."

Students are welcome to apply for the robotics club again in January to participate in tournaments and be mentored by students who were in the club this semester.

According to Dickerson, future activities for the robotics club could include an activity with the Kansas City Fire Department to view how they use robots in emergency situations on the job.

"LINC was pivotal in creating the club," said Manly. "I feel lucky to have worked with LINC."

Get involved: contact Roosevelt Dickerson at (816) 418-3971 or

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