Armed with Lego Mindstorms kits and a healthy bit of competition, nearly 500 students, parents and coaches descended on the high school to compete, present, dance and win. When it was done, six teams advanced to the Massachusetts state competition, which will be held December 19th in Worcester.
Check out a whole load of photos of the event on the LigerBots’ Flickr page.
FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, promotes science and technology in youth all over the world by running robotic competitions. FIRST Lego League is designed to help students learn problem solving skills through building and programming a robot and researching real world issues, exciting them about STEM outside of school.
This year’s challenge, called TRASH TREK, had two parts: 1) a project to identify and solve a specific waste management problem. 2) a challenge to build and program a Lego Mindstorm robot to navigate a series of obstacles with a focus on recycling and trash. Students presented and competed before adult judges.
In all, 28 teams from 14 cities and towns around the state took part in the event, which was run almost entirely by high school students. A number of teams called Newton home, including several that started just this year.
FIRST and the LigerBots granted 12 awards in areas including technical work on the robot, development and presentation of the project, and their demonstration of the core values of FIRST, which includes “coopertition,” the idea of competing but also being gracious and helping your competitors.
In addition to the competition, the LigerBots also hosted a Maker Faire, which included hands-on demos from the Newton Free Library, Rise Robotics, Robosail.org, Playrific, Greengineering, Prospect Hill Forge, iRobot, Russian School of Math, Jumpsmart and Einstein’s Workshop.
Seriously. a forge. A FORGE! It was amazingly hot.