Both GWA FIRST® LEGO® League Teams Compete at Regionals
- After School Activities
For those who think FIRST® LEGO® League is for students who like playing with LEGOs, it’s actually much more complex than that. This article will summarize the challenges that all teams face during the tournament season and give you a short description of the Innovation Projects our GWA teams have created.
This weekend, our FIRST® LEGO® League teams (Incredibots and Synapse) will compete in the first Regionals competition. For those who think FIRST® LEGO® League is for students who like playing with LEGOs, it’s actually much more complex than that. This article will summarize the challenges that all teams face during the tournament season and give you a short description of the Innovation Projects our GWA teams have created.
Every year, FIRST LEGO League releases a Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic. The theme of this year’s challenge is CITY SHAPER. What if you could build a better world? Where would you begin? Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Innovation Project, and the Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with at least two adult coaches, participate in the Challenge by 1) programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), 2) developing a solution to a problem they have identified in their community (Project), 3) all guided by the FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values.
In the Robot Game, teams have to identify ‘Missions’ to solve as well as build and program a LEGO Robot to complete the Missions. Finally, teams test and refine their program and design.
Their Robot is designed to meet a series of tasks, called ’missions’, such as to navigate, capture, transport, activate, or deliver objects. The teams and their Robot have 2½ minutes to complete as many missions as possible and receive points for each mission they complete (more difficult missions are worth more points). Teams have to be creative in order to successfully complete multiple missions in the allotted time. Check out this video to see a Robot Game in action.
In the Innovation Project, teams have to identify a problem with a building or public space in their community, design a solution and share their solution with others and then refine it. Team Synapse decided to create an innovative solution for GWA’s parking congestion and traffic during pick-up and drop-off times. Synapse created a re-designed model parking lot with working technology designed to track available parking spots. Team Incredibots also identified an area of improvement within our school. They created a movement called ♯inspireme which uses color theory and educational murals to create a more colorful and inspirational environment within GWA’s own walls.
In the first tournament of the year, team Synapse ranked 3rd overall in points for the Robot Game and GWA IncrediBots, our novice team ranked 4th. Both teams have had a few weeks to make improvements to their robot build and their coding in hopes of scoring even higher at the Nationals. For the Innovation Project, each of our teams had an overall of 20 minutes to present their solution for a problem, answer judge questions, and explain their robot programming. Both of our GWA teams met the City Shaper requirements outlined in this year’s challenge. Overall, they completed the presentation with no adult help, which earned them first and second place in the final tournament ranking.
We wish both our teams luck in the next phase of the competition, but GWA’s community is already proud of the work they’ve done to help improve our school campus.