The Trailridge Elementary Timberbots, two Summit Lakes Middle School Falconbots robotics teams and the Bernard Campbell Middle School Mustang robotics team participated in the first lego League Regional Championship held Jan. 12 at Kansas City’s Union Station. The event included 40 teams out of almost 130 regional teams that participated in four qualification tournaments held last year.
FIRST stands for “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” As part of the first lego League competition, students do both a research project and a robot game based on a theme. FLL is a world-wide program that encourages students to become actively involved in science, math and technology by creating hands-on competitive events. There were over 20,000 FLL teams in 70 countries in this year’s challenge, called “Senior Solutions.”
This year’s challenge focused on technology that could improve the lives of elderly individuals, and the Trailridge Timberbots have been visiting with residents at John Knox Village retirement community to help them learn about some of the challenges facing older adults. Their project involves helping seniors learn how to use technology such as email, Facebook and Skype so that they can communicate with their relatives and friends.
SLMS Falcons Skyped with Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg and worked with two senior mentors.
In the robot game, students learn how to design, build and program vehicles made from LEGO to do specific missions on a 8-foot-by-4-foot mat. Each mission is built from LEGOS and has an assigned number of points; students have 2 1/2 minutes to complete the tasks they choose.
The Trailridge Timberbots Challengers team posted its highest competition score at the championship tournament and successfully completed the event’s Transition Bridge, which involves balancing the robot on a small platform after climbing either a ramp or set of stairs. SLMS Falconbots were one of the few teams to flip the LEGO stove to all black burners using a creative flexible attachment. The Bernard Campbell Mustang team was selected to advance to this round at a Dec. 1 competition.
Both Falconbots teams received exemplary marks in gracious professionalism which includes judging on respect, inclusion, and cooperation.