In Whitfield County, the Eastbrook Middle School Robotics Team recently competed in the First Lego League District State-Level Tournament at Chattanooga State and will advance to the National Invitational in Arkansas in May.

The team is called One Giant Leap.  No team of students of their age in the region has ever gone to an international event before.  Teacher Amy Zock is understandably proud of how far her students have come in two years.

Teams were required to complete three tasks: design a Core Values Board, create a solution to a problem astronauts face in space and design a robot made entirely of Legos that can complete various missions.

One Giant Leap decided to focus on an astronaut's bone density loss and developed a sport for astronauts to participate in to increase bone mass.  

To prepare for the competition, students held practice tournaments, attended Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, and organized education camps, with each session being led by students.   

The students call it "coopertition," the idea that students can and should work together and respect one another, even in competition.   

Before their experience with robotics, many students had no idea their studies would go beyond the classroom, on a global scale.  It has changed the way they think about science and technology. 

The Eastbrook students are excited about the international event in Arkansas, in which 108 teams from 18 countries will compete.

The team needs to raise over $29,000 in order to attend, and donations may be sent to Eastbrook Robotics, 1382 Eastbrook Rd., Dalton, GA 30721.