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Franklin Elementary recently participated in a First Lego League Competition, which saw four teams from the school participating. Although none of the teams advanced to the state competition, the event was a huge success, with a high turnout of students from our district (fourteen from Franklin and one from Dixon Middle School), all eager to take on the STEM-based challenge.

Franklin Elementary Extended Day Manager Ivan Mangum led these teams in the competition. Mr. Mangum and volunteers (Flowserve Engineers and a High School Robotics team from Pleasant Grove) have been instrumental in helping students at Franklin Elementary develop their robotics skills, encouraging them to think creatively and solve problems using the latest technology.

The competition recognized Mangum with an award for Best Coach and Mentor, making this the second year in a row Franklin Elementary coaches have received this award.

Franklin Elementary’s robotics program has grown in popularity recently, and it is easy to see why. Our teachers provide students with hands-on opportunities to explore the world of robotics, programming, and engineering. As part of the First Lego League, students have four categories that they compete in: Robot Design, Robot Games, Core Values, and an Innovation Project.

Students work in teams to design and build their robots, then program them to complete a series of challenges. This year’s theme was Super Powered; all challenges involved creating and storing energy. Students took to hands-on, real-world projects, from gathering and funneling energy from a wind turbine or a dam to truck-loading with crude oil.

The Innovation Project is similar to STEM fairs: using the year’s theme, the students find a “problem” that needs to be solved. One team tried to figure out how to make a train function using solar power, trying to research and troubleshoot how to keep their project on track and functioning despite the unique energy source.

In addition, and perhaps as importantly, the students learned the core competition’s values of Teamwork, Inclusion, Innovation, Fun, Discovery, and Impact throughout the event.

The robotics competition at Franklin Elementary is just one example of the many opportunities for students to get involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. STEM careers are among the fastest-growing and highest-paying in the world, and students must have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.

Whether you are interested in robotics, coding, or engineering, there is something for everyone. Provo City School District offers a variety of programs and resources to help students develop their skills in STEM subjects. We encourage families to take advantage of these opportunities and get involved in STEM education. By doing so, you can help prepare your children for the high-paying and rewarding careers of the future.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei