Long Island students help disabled classmate compete with robotics team
LONG ISLAND - Alex Grundmann loves Legos and robotics so it only made sense for him to join the middle school robotics club when he entered sixth grade.
“If it's something I'm completely interested in, I'll put all the effort in,” Grundmann said.
While he could build, program and test bots, he says using his wheelchair made it difficult for him to compete like anyone else.
“The tables were too high and I was discouraged,” Grundmann said. “I was just like forget it. It's not going to happen.”
After sitting out for a season, his team decided to help him. The Lego League challenge has multiple parts. There's the robot game itself and then a project. This year's theme involved coming up with a problem in their community and figuring out a way to solve it.
The Rocky Point Robo Eagles designed and built a handicap-accessible ramp to encourage students with physical limitations like Alex to continue to compete.
“One of the core values is inclusion so now we're complete,” said teammate Kristian Hald.
The team has a few more practices before the championship on March 1. The top 40 teams on Long Island will compete. Each on the table and with their unique project ideas.
“At least we came up with a solution that allowed him to actually achieve his goals and if that propels other students to do the same thing that's just wonderful for everybody,” said coach Mark Moorman.
A win for the team even before the competition.