GVMS Bionic Babes place
first in state robotics contest
By Linda Petersen
Mar. 1, 2018
ST. GEORGE—At the FIRST LEGO League Utah South state championship last Saturday, Feb. 24, in St. George, Gunnison Valley Middle School’s girls team, Bionic Babes, took first place in their category.
“The girls did an awesome job,” GEAR UP site coordinator Samantha Dyreng said. “Th
e girls went up and down on their presentation and worked really hard on perfecting it.”
The championship was held at Dixie State College in St. George, and GEAR UP sponsors the teams from Gunnison Valley Middle School.
In Problem Solving, where teams were asked to address a world problem, Bionic Babes team members Noelle Condie, Sage Bjerregaard, Sarah Liddiard, Michelle Mellor and Gracie Mickelsen decided they wanted to find a way to make the water cycle more human friendly.
So they researched the issue and came up with a working prototype for an underwater vehicle that cleans the ocean.
Team member Sarah Liddiard, 14, said the students are currently studying environmental problems in their science classes so it was easy for them to come up with a problem and a solution.
She said she enjoyed the experience of going to state competition, something she had never done before.
“I was really excited about how well we did,” she said.
Dyreng said the judges at the state championship only gave out a few awards.
The boys team from Gunnison Valley Middle School, Nerd Alert, is made up of Bryant Shell, Bridger Stevens, Dylan Anderson, Brayden Sanderson, Will Wescott, Eli Lambertson and Stockton Broderick.
The team developed a product they called Filterbac, a CamelBak-type water pack filled with straws that filtered out bacteria and airborne diseases.
While their invention did not win them an award, Dyreng said their judging sheets suggested they were really close to the top in scoring.
Bryant Shell, 13, a Nerd Alert team member, said it was still a great experience to be a part of the LEGO League and to go to state.
“You get to meet other teams that are working on the same kinds of things you are,” he said. “You get to learn about sportsmanship and about your team. You also get to go places and to do things with your team.”
Both teams finished in the top 10 overall in a field of 25 teams.
The Bionic Babes had previously taken first place overall in the Southern Utah University regional qualifier. The boys’ team took first place in the Core Values category in that competition.
“We are so proud of our students,” Dyreng said. “Months of hard work really paid off.”