Toy Robot Builders Stand Up to Rivals


Local students mixed robotics and LEGOs to bring home two top trophies from the first Orange County LEGO League Robotics Competition in Irvine this past weekend.

Team LEGOna Beach is having its second year of success with Thurston

students Michael Beu, Jack Fast, and Michael Wogulis and elementary

students Perry Cheves, JP DeBarber, and Nils Nietsch.

The team is part of an international league that use LEGOs and robotics to help solve a new challenge each year. This year’s challenge is defined as body forward: exploring ways to repair injuries, overcoming genetic predispositions,

and improving the body’s potential.

The local team won first place in the robot performance category and

second place overall, allowing LEGOna Beach to advance to the

championship tournament held at LEGOland in December.


Their skills shined in robot design as well as the

project portion of the tournament that involved acting out a skit

entitled “Nanobots vs. Virus.” The performance was inspired by

curriculum from Mrs. Hill-Lindsay’s science class at Thurston Middle



Research field trips to UCI’s Beckman Laser Institute and team sponsor

Horiba Medical Instruments also provided background information for

the creative team members.


Head coach Brendon Cheves praises the program and experience. “It’s

amazing how well the kids work together to solve problems. Each person

brings a unique talent to the table that makes it a huge success. We

all have an insanely fun time!”

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