Bighorn news: Lego robotics teams advance to regionals

Team Oasis: Front row, from left, are Jackson Frey, Zayden Maynez and Penelopi Doyen. Back row, from left, are Luke Moffitt and McCartney Kelly.

Team Oasis: Front row, from left, are Jackson Frey, Zayden Maynez and Penelopi Doyen. Back row, from left, are Luke Moffitt and McCartney Kelly.

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Both Team Oasis and Team Bighorns are advancing to the Northern Nevada Championship round in the First Lego League Challenge Division.

The teams competed on Dec. 3 for the initial round.

The Lego robotics program at Oasis is lead by Mrs. Kathy Keitz with Assistant Coaches Mr. John Keitz and Mrs. Sarah Frey. Mr. Keitz coaches the team on the computer aspects of the program and Mrs. Frey coaches the teams on the Core Values portion of the competition.

Along with advancing, Team Bighorns won the Motivation Award for excelling on their Innovation Project. The project included a presentation focused on using Helium 3 harvested from the moon for clean renewable energy.

Mrs. Keitz received the Coaches Award. According to the First Lego League website, the award is presented to the coach that “inspires their teams to do their best, both as individuals and together, and without them, there would be no FIRST LEGO League.

“This award goes to the coach or mentor whose leadership and guidance is clearly evident and best exemplifies the FIRST Core Values.”

“We are so proud of the teams and Mrs. Keitz. They have worked hard and come so far in a few short years. They definitely deserved this win,” added Chief Academic Officer Rochelle Tisdale.

Team Bighorns had two veteran members, Gabriel Keener and Cristian Keener (both eighth graders), who were captains. Team Bighorns had students from fifth through eighth grades. This was the first year competing for all of Team Oasis. This group of all fifth graders is captained by Penelope Doyen and Zayden Maynez.

“I enjoy having Mrs. Keitz as my Lego Robotics teacher because she’s helpful, fun, and enjoys teaching us! I look forward to her helping us get ready for our next competition,” said Team Bighorns Captain Zayden Maynez.

The regional competition is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Carson City.

Honor Society organizes lunch and letters

The Oasis Academy College Prep Honor Society students have been busy working on a couple projects throughout the community. The group organized the Lunch and Letters event at the Pennington Life Center. To start the project, students led lessons with Oasis Elementary students about letter writing. Students then created cards with letters for the visitors at the Pennington Life Center. Over 120 cards were made.

On Dec. 2, Oasis National Honor Society students spent two hours at the center having lunch with visitors and handing out cards. Cards were also made for Meals on Wheels to pass out throughout the community.

“This was a fun opportunity to not only work with fellow NHS students but also to get to volunteer in the community. We want to thank the staff at the Pennington Life Center for inviting our students and being welcoming,” said junior Hunter McNabb.

The event was spearheaded by Hunter McNabb and Layla Tanner.

Senior Spotlight: Layla Tanner

Oasis Academy College Prep Senior Layla Tanner is headed to College Station, Texas when she graduates this May. The Aggie tradition is a long part of her family's history with her father and sisters attending the competitive school. Tanner will major in Nutrition in A&M’s School of Agriculture.

“Since joining Oasis at the beginning of my junior year I have met so many nice people. Along with taking on unfamiliar sports and college classes, I learned many lessons that will impact my future decisions in life,” Tanner said.

“I would like to thank Mr. Eric Grimes, he has been my teacher since I moved here. He always has a welcoming personality for all of his students,” added Tanner.

The variety of classes Tanner has taken during her two years at Oasis has helped broaden her perspectives on topics. She continued, “My favorite class is philosophy because not only did I get to expand my own opinions, but also listen to other’s thoughts on religious topics.”

Tanner is currently president of the Oasis Chapter of National Honor Society. Being an active member of the NHS has provided a lot of opportunities to lead, volunteer in the community and give back. Along with taking classes, being a member of NHS, and being active in sports, Layla also currently has a part time job at the Western Nevada College library. She has enjoyed learning and growing in that position. She is thankful for the opportunity.

As Tanner looks on to the future, her advice for future students is straight forward. “Perfect the basics, it is important to create a strong foundation,” she said.

Tanner said she cannot wait to join her sisters for the Fall of 2023 at Texas A&M.


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