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Lego League Bringing Students of All Ages Together June 5, 2013

Posted by Sean Musselman in Burlington Community.
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Drop by the Francis Wyman library on a Monday afternoon and you’ll witness some of the most incredible learning and mentorship taking place between Burlington students. Approximately twenty fifth graders work in groups of two and three, constructing robots of all different designs and purposes. Alongside them sit volunteers from the Burlington High School Robotics Club, providing guidance and encouragement but providing the freedom for the younger students to experiment, create and test their own unique machines.


Marshall Simonds student, Michelle Pothier with club participants brainstorming what’s next for their robot.

“The club’s main goals are to introduce kids to basics of design, problem solving, what is a robot and how do robots work” says Gerry Pothier III, an alumni of the club who sits beside Michelle Pothier, a middle school robotics team member assisting students assembling a “capture and throw” robot. “The biggest challenge for the kids is to bring a concept they have to reality and communicating with their teammates how they want to do that.”


Constructing the robot using LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits purchased through a grant by the BEF in 2010.

Club coaches and Francis Wyman teachers, Cid D’Amico and Anne Rigby are quick to admit that their role is largely supervisory. They point to the volunteers as the real cogs that move the club forward. From their perspective they see another side to the learning taking place.

“This club is really bringing kids together, forcing them to work alongside partners… work with each other,” says D’Amico a fifth grade teacher at Francis Wyman.


Fifth graders program their robot with guidance from BHS volunteers.

The Lego Robotics club is now in its third year at Francis Wyman. It was originally started with the help of the Burlington Education Foundation, spearheaded by the Pothier family who had students in Francis Wyman at the time.

“This in itself is an incredible experience for a high school student,” says Roberta Pothier. ” One of reasons we started a program in the Francis Wyman was to show the younger students what their capabilities are now and in the future.  My daughter was in the 5th grade at the time the program started and is [now] an active participant on the high school team. We have started a program on a smaller level at the middle school this year and hope to expand that in the future.”

The Francis Wyman Robotics Club is an eight-week program that runs through the end of the school year. Keep your eyes open on this blog for final robot designs from our budding robotics engineers!





1. Burlington Lego Robotics Club Fall 2014 Update | Burlington Science Center Blog - September 19, 2014

[…] clubs would be run in similar fashion to those previously run at Francis Wyman. You can review this blog post from a previous year for a better idea of what these clubs look like. It is likely most of these programs will run in […]

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