One School at a Time: Elm Road Elementary Robotics Team wins Martin’s grant

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Don’t let the yellow balls and controllers fool you. Robotics isn’t a game; it’s hard work!

“It’s really fun and complicated,” said Finn Runyon, a 3rd grader.

“What I like about robotics is that you get to build them and then have fun with them,” said 4th grader Ethan Guzman

Finn and Ethan are members of the Elm Road Elementary robotics team.

“So the objective is to get as many balls in the center that you can,” said Ethan.

“There’s the walls all around the rim and you work together with your teammate from the other school to score as much points as possible,” added Finn.

“All the balls you clear from every side is six points. If you hang, that’s twelve. And every ball you put in there is one point,” explained Ethan.

The school has had a robotics program for years, but this is their first time using Vex IQ.

In their first tournament, they won second place.

“I think it gives great experience in perseverance and not giving up,” said teacher Jackie Anderson.

Anderson says their skills mimic the engineering process in the real world.

“This is one of those types of things that most likely they’re not going to get it on the first try. You’re going to have to do it again and again,” said Anderson.

The money from Martin’s will fund new equipment.

“Robots are expensive,” said Anderson. “I should be able to purchase two new robots. Which is just great for going to the competition. Because we will have the newest and the best. I believe that will give us an edge.”

Along with the talented kids in control.

“It’s all about driving so you need to be good at driving to be good at scoring points,” said Finn.

“It’s so great to work with other kids because you would not want to work alone because that’s not fun,” said Ethan.

And having fun is a great way to learn.

To nominate your school for a One School at a Time grant, click here: One School at a Time - Nominate Your School (

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