Catamount School team advances after FIRST LEGO League event

Members of a Catamount School student team and their coach, Holly Rowan (far right), traveled to Cherokee for the regional FIRST LEGO League competition. The students are (from left) Addi Abbott, Codie Lovett, Logan Leamon, Connor Pollard, Elana Istvan, Jurney Edgerdahl, Culhan Lovett and (seated) Lucien Kelley. Not pictured is student team member Aidan Holler.

A team of students representing the Catamount School, Western Carolina University’s laboratory school for sixth- through eighth-graders, competed at a regional FIRST LEGO League event Saturday, Dec. 2, and will be one of 13 teams moving on to state competition.

The Catamount School team was one of 46 teams competing in divisions for upper elementary and middle grades at Cherokee High School. The teams were judged in several categories of competition, including their research into the contest theme of “hydrodynamics” and the solution they developed for a problem related to that theme; their ability to design, build and program a robot with Legos to move around a tabletop playing field that reflected the theme; and a team-building exercise.

The 13 teams that will be advancing to state competition did well in all aspects of the event, said Holly Rowan, the team’s coach who is the exceptional children’s teacher and interventionist at the Catamount School. The state event is set for Saturday, Jan. 20, at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro.

Rowan said she is especially proud of the Catamount School team because most of the teams involved had been preparing for the event since last spring, but with the school opening just this past August, her team only had since September to prepare. “They did well because they have been working really hard on it,” she said.

Team members are Addi Abbott, Jurney Edgerdahl, Aidan Holler, Elana Istvan, Lucien Kelley, Logan Leamon, Codie Lovett, Culhan Lovett and Connor Pollard.