The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Two TASIS Teams Place in Top Four at FIRST Lego League Challenge
Lego League Switzerland, School Robotics Competition

Photo taken by Associazione Robo-Si

Editor's note: A few weeks after this story was published, the girls on the TASIS Tigers 1 team learned that they have been chosen to represent Switzerland at the FIRST LEGO League CARGO CONNECT World Festival at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, USA, on April 20–23, 2022. The Tigers are one of 108 teams worldwide to earn an invite! 

Nine TASIS students competed in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge at the Cantonal Institute of Economics and Commerce in Bellinzona on February 5. Led by Coach Amy Bloodworth, TASIS Tigers 1—Mariaurora Rosso ’24, Maddy Costa Felix ’26, Serafina Ballerini ’26, Olivia Canga ’26, and Diana Xiao ’26—placed third out of 10 teams in the overall ratings while TASIS Tigers 2—Alken Sarsenov ’26, Batian Hegelund ’26, Ilia Soloshchenko ’28, and Ishaan Patel ’29—finished in a tie for fourth place. Other highlights included TASIS Tigers 2 taking first place in the Core Values category, Ms. Bloodworth taking home the Coaching Award, and the TASIS Tigers 1 finishing second in both the Robot Game and Research categories. See the full results.

“I am so proud of these kids that my heart could burst!” said Ms. Bloodworth, who teaches science and coding in the Middle School and computer science in the High School. “It’s so much more than just one day. This is months of work and dedication for these students. They not only have to perform under pressure in a high stakes robot game, but they are judged on programming and engineering design and must present an unbelievable research project—and do it all with gracious professionalism and resilience. I also owe an incredible thank you to their parents and dorm parents who hosted many late-night practice sessions and were there with just the right pep talks when needed.”

Lego League Switzerland, School Robotics Competition

Photo taken by Associazione Robo-Si

The competing students have been honing their skills in the Middle School’s After-School Robotics Club, which Ms. Bloodworth—the recipient of the 2016 Khan-Page Master Teacher Award—co-founded in 2018 with former Middle School Math Teacher Claire Thomas. To learn more about Ms. Bloodworth’s ongoing efforts to expose TASIS students to as much coding, engineering, and invention as possible, refer to this article about the School’s inaugural robotics tournament in January 2019 and read about a strong follow-up performance the next year.

TASIS Tigers 2 in action!

The theme for this year’s tournament was transportation, with students in the Challenge category (ages 9–16) asked to explore the technological advancements and global challenges that face humanity and build creative solutions that will revolutionize the future. Teams of 2–10 members then can use one of two robotics sets—LEGO Mindstorms or LEGO Education SPIKE—to design, build, and program a robot to compete with on a table-top playing field. 

The FIRST LEGO League Challenge (formerly FIRST LEGO League) is now established in more than 100 countries. Dean Kamen, who founded FIRST LEGO League in 1998, has described his motivation for doing so as follows: "We have to show children that it can be more fun to create and construct a video game or robot than to play with it.”

Lego cake, lego cupcake, robot cake

A celebration awaited the competitors when they returned to campus!


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