Robotics Highlight 2nd Epic Build

Students in Loudoun’s “Code to the Future” schools celebrated the close of the first semester by hosting their second Epic Build.


Students at Meadowland and Moorefield Station elementary schools opened their presentation with welcoming remarks from students. The groups of speakers recapped the highlights of the first quarter Epic Build and discussed the growth they made in the second quarter.  Each grade range incorporated Legos and Lego robotic software into their coding activities for the second quarter.  The third quarter will focus on a shift to text-based, rather than block-based, coding and will move toward Java.


Students in kindergarten and first grade built structures with Lego bricks of various sizes and represented different patterns in their construction. The structures were then combined to create communities.  In one classroom, the community included a fire house, car wash, school, skyscraper, candy store and 7-11 (complete with a seven on the roof).  The students then built a house in Scratch and programmed things like the number of rooms, the ability to turn lights on and off or the inclusion of a TV.


In second and third grades, students used Lego WeDo robots to learn various science lessons.  Fourth- and fifth-graders programmed Lego Mindstorm robots to perform a physical task usually done by a human.  Some of the tasks included turning on and off a classroom light, enacting a story about a unicorn being chased by a dragon and shooting a small basketball into a hoop.


Invited guests for the event at Meadowland included Leesburg School Board member Tom Marshall; Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Ashley Ellis; Director of Instructional Programs Tina Lane; Director of Technology Operations and Support Justin Donovan; Supervisor of Elementary Education Teri Finn; Supervisor of Educational Technology Michael Herickson; Digital Integration Specialist Nick Grzeda; Elementary Science Resource Teacher Pat Herr; Seneca Ridge Middle School Principal Nick Cottone; Round Hill Elementary School Principal Andrew Davis; and Lowes Island Elementary Principal Tim Sparbanie. 


Guests at Moorefield Station included Finn; Grzeda; Donovan; Director of Technology Systems and Applications Aaron Smith; and Supervisor of Systems and Applications Kevin Brooks.  A representative of the Lego company also was in attendance.


Joshua Johnson serves as the Code to the Future coach at all LCPS schools taking part in the program. Round Hill is the third LCPS school currently engaged in coding.