STEM students, parents and NSWC Crane volunteer coaches participated and volunteered at a FIRST Lego League (FLL) competition on Nov. 18 at the Lawrence County Boys and Girls Club as 130 students competed for a chance to move on to the State Tournament scheduled for Dec. 2 at the University of Southern Indiana.
The Lakeview ROARBotics and Spockbots of Bloomington, along with RoxStars and RoboRox of Shoals punched their ticket to the state tournament.
ThunderBots and RoboTillers of Limestone Robotics (Lawrence County) will also compete at the state tournament after qualifying at a previous tournament.
“Students in this age group are very eager learners; they are discovering their life-long interests and they need opportunities to succeed,” said Greg Fedrick, NSWC Crane employee and tournament director.
FLL is a program specifically for grades 4-8 in the FIRST series, and participants must research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS, then compete on a table-top playing field.
“These tournaments and the preparation beforehand teach students to experiment with solutions, experience the engineering process of design/test/fail/repeat that will serve them in any area they pursue,” added Fedrick.
Lakeview ROARBotics, Bloomington, won the Project award for their quality research, innovative solutions, community sharing and presentation that reflected an in-depth understanding of the scientific disciplines involved with the Project. The team also won the Global Innovation Award (GIA). Past winners of the GIA have met the President and been provided the opportunity to patent and market their solution to the annual them problem.
The Spockbots, Bloomington, won the Core Values award. This award goes to the team that best demonstrates extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit, inspiration, exceptional partnership, and the utmost respect to its own teammates and in its support and encouragement of fellow teams.
The RoxStars, Shoals, won the Robot Design and Robot Game awards for exceptional mechanical design, innovation, programming effectiveness and team strategies for solving missions to assess overall design quality. The Robot Game award goes to the team that scored the most points during the three, 2.5-minute matches.
The RoboRox of Shoals won the Champions award. The Champion's Award recognizes a team that embodies the FLL experience, by fully embracing our Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and the Project.
The goal of NSWC Crane’s K-12 STEM Outreach Program is to facilitate the use of NSWC Crane resources to motivate, cultivate and attract the next generation of STEM talent. The program accomplishes this by providing students and teachers with NSWC Crane scientist and engineer mentors for a variety of programs.