Coding, robots make March Madness a different ball game

Two boys holding a robot and homemade hoop.
Aiden Davis and Carter Taylor won March Madness by coding their robot to make the most baskets in their homemade basketball hoop.
Students in Jennifer Cestare and Aimee Holland’s fourth grade classes at Goshen Intermediate School embraced March Madness with a 21st century learning project!
Students teamed up for a fun yet competitive STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) activity, where they were tasked to create a basketball hoop out of everyday materials, such as paper towel and toilet paper rolls, cardboard, duct tape, glue and tissue boxes. The teams of 2-3 students had to complete their hoop during two 30-minute sessions.
Once the hoops were constructed, the teams used iPads to create code that instructed Dash, a robot, to shoot balls through the hoops they had created. The teams practiced in the computer lab with the help of Computer Teacher Kendra Parchinski and then competed in the Sweet 16.

Each class had 8 teams and each team was named after a college basketball team. Students competed in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 during their class’ regularly scheduled computer lab, but came together for the Final Four and Championship Rounds.

The competition was fierce as students cheered on their classmates, and Carter Taylor and Aiden Davis – team Kentucky – were victorious!

Final Four Participants

*Signifies winning team

Mrs. Cestare’s Class

Louisville: Gisselle Charles, Steven Valez and Ethan Batista
Kentucky: Carter Taylor and Aiden Davis*

Mrs. Holland’s Class

Michigan State: Olivia Marku, Zoey Zheng and Kaitlyn Lynch
Syracuse: Gio Hernandez, Scarlett Stanley and Nylah Garo*

Championship Game

Syracuse: Gio Hernandez, Scarlett Stanley and Nylah Garo
Kentucky: Carter Taylor and Aiden Davis*
Group of students sitting on stairs
The Final Four participants: Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky and Syracuse. Team Kentucky was named champion!