KINGMAN – The Force Lego team from Kingman Academy Middle School won a trophy for programming in the robot design category at the state’s First Lego League robotic competition held Jan. 14 at Arizona State University.
The Academy team performed well at the competition, scoring 100 points for both project research and robot design presentation, said Celeste Lucier, Kingman Academy High School science teacher and team coordinator.
The judges were impressed with the Academy’s team, which received two “call-backs,” she said.
Students had to make another presentation to a panel of judges, once for the robot design and again for the project presentation. That resulted in the team’s first trophy from the FLL championship.
Team 3862, The Force, managed a score of 120 points on the game table. During this portion of the tournament, teams send a programmed autonomous robot out on the table to complete a variety of human water cycle missions.
This year, the robot was a “box bot” with some complex attachments to carry out the missions.
Between matches, the team showed off their robot design to judges, sharing their strategies, tests they conducted on the motors, program development and attachments they created.
Then they demonstrated what the robot could do.
“The judges were really impressed with the team’s engineering notebook and ‘My Block’ programming,” Lucier said.
In this case, the programming was set up for the gyro on the robot, which told the robot where it was at all times on the game table. This made for much more accurate missions, the teacher noted.
In Core Value judging, First Lego League teams are scored for community service, sharing research with the community, mentoring other teams and participating in team-building activities.
Keelan Yarbrough, wastewater superintendent for City of Kingman, took the Academy students on a tour of the wastewater treatment plant and helped them with this year’s competition theme, “Hydro Dynamics.”
The team decided to develop a solution to the overabundance of rainwater that causes problems at the wastewater treatment plant following big storms in Kingman.
After much research, team members created a modified manhole cover to prevent the influx of rain water into the sewer system.
The Force qualified for the state competition by winning the robot design award at the Northern Arizona First Lego League tournament in Flagstaff on Dec. 9.