The first-year team named Lego Concepts competed in the First Lego League’s Senior Solutions 2012 Challenge, where they were challenged with finding solutions to help senior citizens stay independent and engaged in the community.
The group developed a pill dispenser watch that would not only sound an alarm, but also vibrate to indicate it was time to take medicine.
They also had to program a robot out of Lego blocks that would have the ability to climb a ramp to a bridge, climb stairs and walk over a gap — all the while keeping in mind obstacles senior citizens face while completing those tasks.
Lego Concepts placed fifth out of 42 teams for a state qualifier competition. The team wasn’t able to advance after the state competition.
The team consists of Zech Bradfield, Natali Bradfield, Daniel Calkins, Jacson Ott and Jamerson Ott. They range in age from 9 to 14.
Throughout the process, the team spent time with senior citizens to learn the issues they face.
“We learned a lot about dementia and things that might happen to us when we get older,” said Natali Bradfield, 12, a North Muskegon resident.
The experience also helped the team gain life skills by putting them into various scenarios and presenting their ideas in front of corporate personnel, said Dee Bradfield, who coached the team with Spring Lake resident Debbi Ott.
“There’s a lot of stuff you can do with Legos,” said Jacson Ott, who was on the team for the second year.
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