Leadville Lego Robotics Club Competes at FLL
By Bianca Gonzales, School Newspaper Club
Our LEGO Robotics Club works hard on projects which help them understand the core concepts of technology, improve in science and STEM, and learn to work as a team. They usually have a specific topic(s) to work on where they use Legos and a robot. They program a robot to do what they want and customize it with Legos. They were allowed to do this through a special STEM Education grant from Freeport-McMoRan Climax.The Leadville LEGO Robotics Club traveled to Westminster, CO on November 23 to compete in the First LEGO League. Photo: Contributed.
Recently, the LEGO Robotics Club traveled to Westminster, CO on November 23rd to compete in FLL. FLL stands for First LEGO League which is a robotics competition for 9-14 year olds. It is to teach students valuable employment and life skills and to get children excited about technology and science. This year’s competition was called “Nature’s Fury” and focused on natural disasters.
The LEGO Robotics Club faced many obstacles both before and during the competition. First off, they didn’t have the software needed to program the robot so they had to manually program the robot’s “brain”. It only contained five buttons! Teamwork was also another obstacle because while some kids were working hard and getting work done, others were messing around and not helping. There was also a big problem with time because the club only had about 18 hours to get everything working properly. At the competition, it seemed like their problems weren’t over yet. Each round was originally five minutes long but it got cut down to two-and a-half minutes and the team found out last minute. Penalties were red block-shaped bricks put in the way when the robot was pulled back to home base. One really important achievement during the competition was that our LEGO Robotics Club reprogrammed their robot to drive backwards.
During the competition, the LEGO Robotics Club was judged on three main categories: Core Values, Project, and Robot Design. Each category had three components that they would be graded on. For example, Core Values (which was focused on teamwork) had gracious professionalism, teamwork, and inspiration. They were also judged on their presentation of an innovative solution and research of their project and lastly they were judged on their robot design which included categories of strategy and innovation, programming, and mechanical design. Overall, they placed 2nd in Core Values and 17th in overall points.
Teamwork, participation, and hard work led this team to do what they did.