JT and Ben have been working all school year on a First Lego League team. Their team had to design, build and program a robot made with the Lego NXT kit that could carry out a specific set of tasks. They also had to put together and present a research project on an assigned topic (theirs was rising sea levels) which included an innovative solution to the problem. On Saturday they traveled to UMBC for the state competition and kicked some lego butt. In the morning they presented their research project. Ben was the point man for that presentation. He was easy and confident and the judges were also impressed with a little piece of animation JT had put together for their powerpoint program. JT was one of the two main programmers on the team and they had to do a technical presentation explaining the code they had used to program their robot and discuss some of their innovative solutions to solving the problems inherent in the tasks.
In the afternoon they were allowed 3 runs with their robots to see how many points they could amass (each task garnered a specific number of points). Throughout the day the judges were also watching closely for enthusiasm, "gracious professionalism", teamwork and a myriad of other more subtle factors. Each team was then judged on the overall package for the day.
The Brick Masters did quite well. They didn't get off to a good start after having trouble in the practice rounds,
their first official run earned them just a few points.
The second run was the winner for them, getting 120 out of a possible 145 points (the maximum possible was 400 but each team prioritizes which tasks they want to take on to earn their own maximum amount of points - Brick Masters could have earned 145 points if they had mastered all the tasks for which they had planned). Here is a video of their best round. It is difficult to understand what they were doing here but you can at least see the robot in action.
At the end of the day, they won the Best Rookie Team award. Out of 88 teams they came in 27th with their accumulated points which was awesome for a rookie team. The judges were confident this would be a team to look out for in future competitions! Here are a few of the boys with their rookie trophy:
Way to go Brick Masters!