Three cheers for the Robot Spartans! After the first round of qualifying victories at Google HQ in November, our First Lego League (FLL) competed in FLL regionals in Morgan Hill and impressed the judges with their team collaboration, problem solving and attitude. A long day that started early in the morning ended with the team receiving the Judges Award in recognition of their modeling of core values in the area of teamwork. Head Coach (and super Volunteer) Greg Corsetto elaborated that the Robot Spartans “developed a sophisticated robot this year, using advanced mechanical and programming techniques. They also developed a first rate research project, which they were recognized for in the Regional competition.”
Robot Spartan team member, Austin, described the start of the day. “We woke up early before 7 a.m. to drive south. The competition was inside a gym like a science fair with a pit area and a place where people can watch what you’re doing.”
Another team member, Nathan, pointed out that it was a high school gym and when asked what it was like, responded with the positive assessment that, “It was fun.”
Cristina, another team member agreed. “It was good.”
Asked why she likes robotics, she shared that “It was fun to build things” and that she “liked building things”. She had accidentally received a gift of Legos four years ago (and now has quite a few sets of Lego sets) and had gotten into the robotics part because of her love for Legos.
Back to Austin, who continued to describe the day, “We competed in four rounds. Our team would get together and go over the plan for completing ‘missions’.”
What are “missions”?
“Missions are jobs that your robots have to do and complete on their own. They are programmed to do certain things on their own. Sometimes the Robot’s mission is to carry something, or to push certain buttons, to drop something off or to drive a set course called ‘line tracking’.” Austin paused, “the hardest tournament was definitely the 3rd one when our main mission didn’t work out.” What won them the Judges Award, Austin reported, was that their unsupervised team work to accomplish in the last mission clinched them high scores.
His time on the Robotics team has helped Austin confirm his passion for design—whether it’s computer design to fashion design. Asked if they learned anything from their experiences competing, Austin shared that he had grown in trusting both the adult volunteers as well as his peers. And Cristina provided a perfect summary sentence with a twinkle in her eye and a shy smirk,
“Anything is possible if you work hard for it!”
We are SO proud of the students’ achievements. At the same time we would like to shout out to our EIGHTEEN amazing volunteers who make the Robotics team happen. The preparation of the teams and performance in the FLL competitions would not be possible without their hard work.