"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes
Friday, December 19, 2008
My 8th grade robotics team, Warrior Avalanche won the district competition last weekend and will be traveling to the state competition with me in January. We are soooooooo excited! They were a really great team to work with (most of the time) and I am so proud of what they accomplished! Our goofy team photo (above) and the team, along with Avery, hanging out in the bleachers (below).So, what is robotics all about, you ask? Well, it is sponsored by an organization called First Lego League (FLL). Basically, the student have to build a robot out of legos and then program it to complete tasks on a playing field. They also have to complete a project based on the theme for the year, which was Climate connections. During the competition, the get scored in 5 categories...
1. Robot performance...this is how well the robot completes the tasks on the playing field in 2.5 minutes.
2. Project performance...this is how well they meet the requirements of the project.
3. Teamwork judging...this is how well they work together as a team.
4. Robot and program design...this is how well put together their robot and programs are.
5. Gracious professionalism...this is how well they represent the core values of FLL throughout the entire competition. They are judged on this on an ongoing basis throughout the competition.
Since Avery was hanging out and didnt have anything to do, he got to be score keeper during the robot competition rounds. Go Avery! He wasnt involved in robotics, but after hanging out with my team all day at the competition, he has shown some interest in being a part of next years team! YAY!Here is the team being judged for the robot performance round 3. They are checking their store with what the referee has gotten. During round 2, the judge actually scored them higher than what they should have gotten and they made a point to let the judges know, which helped them out on their gracious professionalism score.
Here is what the robot competition looks like...two teams compete at the same time with two playing field set up beside each other. You do not compete against the other team, you are only competing against yourself. Each team competes in 3 rounds and they keep their highest score. Our scores were 120, 120, and 145. This is out of 400 possible.
Here are two of the team members practicing their missions with the robot.
Here are the students presenting their project to the judges. For their project, they had to choose a problem caused by climate in their community, then come up with an innovative solution to the problem, and then research another community the has the same problem. The chose having houses on stilts as their problem. Their innovative solution was to dig down to the permafrost and build house directly on that instead. This would result in a partially underground house. Then they researched the community of Eek as the other community that has the same problem. To present what they learned, they made a movie, built a model house out of legos, and created a posterboard to display their information about the village of Eek. The movie is a Bill Nye spoof and it is sooooooooooo funny. They did a really great job!
One of the kids holding on to the model house.
Here are the kids during the teamwork judging. Each year they are given a task to complete while the judges watch to see how well they work as a team. This year they had to get a pingpong ball from start to finish only touching it with the pieces of halfpipe. They could not touch the ball and they could not touch the pieces of tubing to each other. They did really well and worked very well together.
Here we are at the district office, hanging out waiting for the teamwork judging to begin. I dont have pictures of the design and programming judging because that is the only judging were I am not allowed to go in with them.
Here we are at the awards ceremony. We won first in the robot competition, which was not a surprise because the scores are announced after each round. We also won first place for the Spirit of Innovation award, which is the award that encompasses all of the competition goals. The winners of the Spirit of Innovation award are the ones that get to travel to Anchorage for the state competition. YAY!
After the awards ceremony, we showed our "Phil Dry, the Climate Guy" Video to everybody at the competition. Everybody loved it!
Last, but not least...here is the video of their winning robot performance round. We are all pretty excited. Wish us luck in the state competition on January 17th!