This was our first year in First Lego League, so we had no idea what to expect when we started the season. The plan was to learn how to build a robot, program it, learn about climate and have fun!
The season started on September 5, and our team was able to meet once a week for about 2 hours. We tried to split the work up during each meeting, with some focused on research and some on building or programming. We made sure to rotate the work, so everyone got a chance to experience every aspect of the project. We also attended a Rookie Booster event, which helped get us on the right track and build some confidence.
The Regional Qualifier tournament was held yesterday at Monarch High School. It was a blast! There were 24 teams, so it was a very active place. It was fun to talk to the other teams about their experiences and see all of the different designs to accomplish the same tasks. The boys were a little nervous at the beginning, but they acted with gracious professionalism and most importantly: had fun!
Thankfully, our first competition run was absolutely perfect for the tasks we had programmed. We scored 120 points and, too our complete amazement, were in first place for the first 2 rounds! Our 2nd and 3rd rounds had some alignment issues, so our scores were considerably lower. Since they take the best of three rounds, our first round kept us in 5th place!
We were even more surprised during the award ceremony, the judges awarded our team with the FLL Rising Stars award! From the FLL site, this award is given to "teams that the judges notice and believe will soon be among the best and the brightest. The Rising Star Award recognizes a team that the judges believe stands out and that we expect great things from in future Challenges." Of particular mention, the judges thought our use of our robot arm and captured buoy to activate the storm mission was particularly innovative.
I'm very proud of our Hurricane Buster Bots team: David, Connor, Drew and Caleb. I look forward to next year!