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Building Their Way To Greatness

Story: Brooke Jacobson | Photo: John Pires Photography
Published On : Nov 20, 2023
Building Their Way To Greatness
A group of homeschooled kids are taking on the worlds of robotics, science, engineering, and marketing – all by building Lego.

Abi and Jack Degen, Jacob and Eli Wersin, and Riley Jessett were part of the First Lego League Challenge, which took place in late November.

They’re known as the Brick Rolled Red team, and together they had to build and code Lego robots, as well as solve a problem through innovation.

“We brainstormed all our hobbies, like crochet, and coding, and beach volleyball,” Abi said.

“And we decided there’s not enough kids playing beach volleyball, so that’s what we solved by making an ad.”

The beach volleyball video ad uses Lego and stop motion, as well as live action, to promote the game.

On the day of the competition, their Lego robots had to be built and coded to travel around a special mat, completing missions and challenges along the way – all in just two and a half minutes.

This is the second year Abi and Jack have competed in the Lego League Competition, while for the other team members, it’s their first time.

Some of the Brick Rolled Red team were coders for the project, and others were builders, but on the day of the competition, all the students had to do both.

Jack said the team was both “nervous and excited” for the event.

And Jacob added taking part in events like the Lego League was one of the advantages of being home-schooled.

“Home school is great because you can pretty much do school whenever you want, and there’s less curriculum stuff,” he said.

“You have more time to do other things that you like.”

And according to Abi, homeschooled kids did not miss out on the social aspect of normal school.

“We have lots of park catch ups and there’s homeschool groups that meet up all the time, so that’s how we all became friends and formed the team,” she said.

If the team does well in the regional competition, they can progress to the national championships being held in Gladstone, and from there, the Lego League World Festival, held in the US each year.

“That probably won’t happen,” Eli said. “But you never know!”