Are you smarter than a 4th grader?

Serena Sherwood, Staff Writer

The award winning Iron Patriots don’t just build robots–they forge connections.
This year the robotics team has not only found new friends from the United Robotics program, but also from local elementary schools, where they help kids in the district find their passion for robotics.
“It’s a lot of fun. Aside from the obvious part where you get to build with legos, you learn a lot about the kids and yourself,” sophomore Juli Malit said. “The kids take the lead while you support them, and it’s pretty cool to watch and be a part of.”
Currently, Liberty students volunteer their time at 3 elementary schools–Briarwood, Apollo, and Maple Hills–mentoring 40 kids between 16 teams in F.I.R.S.T. Lego League (FLL). That’s not all the Iron Patriots have done, though. They’ve also started 98 teams spanning 8 schools, with many mentored by students on Skyline and Issaquah High School’s robotics teams.
These teams aren’t just a way for students to learn about how to build a Lego robot. They also teach important skills about life, teamwork, and helping others in the community.
It’s not the most common after-school activity, but for the mentors, it’s worth it.
“It seemed like a nice way to do some good for my community, and I’m super glad I decided to join,” Malit said.
Along with mentoring FLL, Liberty Robotics also works with Special Olympics Washington (SOWA) for Unified Robotics, which functions similar to Unified Sports.
“It’s a super rewarding endeavor, and I’m excited that are able to work with our school to make this happen,” senior and student Unified Robotics lead Sam Faris said.
The Iron Patriots have worked with SOWA for two years now, and the team has been chosen to be a spokesperson team, educating the general public about Unified Robotics at competitions and community events through displays.
“I love the community that comes behind Unified. Between the other students in the program and the whole community in Washington, it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had,” junior Pranuti Kalidindi said.