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BeeBots Visit the Rehrig Pacific RISE (Rehrig Innovation Showcase Experience)

BeeBots with Will Rehrig.png

Rehrig Pacific had the pleasure of partnering with Frontier Waste for the City of Mansfield, Texas, rollout. Frontier was working with a Mansfield 4th-grade Robotics team called the BeeBots. They are STEM students at Brenda Norwood Elementary, a STEM and Fine Arts Academy. The school’s vision is to be a student-centered environment committed to collaboration and building positive relationships, and its mission is to engage students and inspire excellence through active learning.

The Beebots are a competitive team of robotic-focused STEM students. Each year, they come together to pick a project theme for their robotics competition, FIRST LEGO League (FLL)FIRST_Lego_League_Logo.jpg. FLL is a robotics competition that challenges students to engage in research, critical thinking, and teamwork. The competition comprises various components, including the Robot Game, Project, Robot Design, and Core Values.BeeBots RISE Tour.jpg

After researching, the students found that Texas is classified as one of the “trashiest” states in America, producing the most waste that affects our coast and lands. After gaining this knowledge, the BeeBots made garbage their theme for this year’s competition, specifically “Garbage & Its Emotions.” To get full credit on their projects, the students had to show initiative by reaching out for “expert education” in their respective fields. 

Frontier had just taken over servicing the City of Mansfield, and the students immediately reached out seeking additional education on trash. This led to Frontier visiting the school and educating them on the history and development of garbage and recycling collection. Frontier also showed them an ASL and how it operates. In an effort to expose them to how robotics truly influences the garbage world, Frontier contacted me to see if we could conduct a tour and educate the students on what we do. Timing was everything because the students had a competition coming up in two weeks.

BeeBots Tour Rehrig Pacific Dallas PlantWe wholeheartedly agreed! The students and their parents attended. They were well prepared, and we were all excited that Will Rehrig was present at the RISE that day. The students told us about an app they had developed to track litter. Will educated the team on Rehrig Pacific’s start and innovations over the years. The parents and sponsor were very impressed and understood what an incredible experience it was to meet Will. After learning more from both Frontier and Rehrig Pacific, the students decided to utilize the two companies in their presentations.

The first email I received from the BeeBots sponsor, Pamela D. Eaton MA, ED/ETT Technology STEM Designer, stated:

“I am thrilled to announce the extraordinary achievements of Norwood’s Robotics Team, the BeeBots, at the recent FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Qualifiers event. Their hard work, dedication, and collaborative spirit have truly paid off.”

Event Highlights:

  • Robot Games: The BeeBots secured an impressive fifth-place position, showcasing exceptional skills and strategic thinking.
  • EcoEmoDrone Innovation Project: The team’s commitment to innovation was evident, earning them a spot in the top 10 for their outstanding project.
  • Robot Design and Core Values: The BeeBots excelled in both categories, reflecting their technical proficiency and commitment to core values such as teamwork and integrity.

Team Leadership and Roles:

  • Team Leader: Ken Ngo
  • Blue Home Technician and Robot Programmer: Ivy Seifer
  • Blue Home Tech Assistant and Robot Programmer: Jude Gazi
  • Blue Home Mission Strategist: Sai Modi
  • Red Home Mission Strategist and Engineer Design Notebook Recorder: Mabry Menefee
  • Historian and Drone Engineer: David Salvagnini
  • Robot Designer and Build Engineer: Maya Reiju

Advancing to FLL Qualifiers Finals:

In recognition of their outstanding achievements, the BeeBots, a remarkably young team, advanced to the FIRST LEGO League Qualifiers Finals in February. This is a testament to their hard work, commitment, and the collaborative spirit that defines the BeeBots team, especially considering they competed against seasoned and older teams (up to 8th grade).

A few weeks later, I received a follow-up email from BeeBots sponsor Pamela with the following: “I am super excited to let you know that our awesome little Beebots qualified to move to the State Finals in the First Lego League match. They had the regional qualifiers last Saturday. They won third place in core values. They were one of the youngest teams to participate amongst 62 other teams. We are so thankful for all your support and encouragement, and we wanted to share this great news with you all.”

Pamela emailed me one last time to let me know that the BeeBots won first place in their category at the State Finals and used Rehrig Pacific in their presentation.

Contributions from Rehrig Pacific: BeeBots and Rehrig Pacfiic Dallas.jpg

Rehrig Pacific’s valuable contribution to the team’s innovation project was acknowledged, highlighting the company’s rich history and support. Congratulations to the BeeBots on their accomplishments, and thanks to Will Rehrig, Kevin Jackman, Cameron Wong, Austin Wargin, Frontier Waste, and Kory Medart for their contributions and dedication. I believe we learned more from the students than they learned from us. I realized that I AM NOT smarter than a 4th grader! These students are our future, and they make our future look bright!

G'Anna Parkey.jpg Author: G’Anna Parkey, Territory Manager, Environmental