December 11, 2010 – A Day at a Lego League Tournament

Today Martin’s team participated in their first lego league tournament.

Here some of the team gets excited during the opening ceremonies of the day.

first lego league

It’s all concentration as the team tries its first run on the challenge table.  Each team uses the same board, with the same “missions” and designs and programs a robot to complete as many missions as possible in 150 seconds.  Only two team members can be at the table at once, so they need to strategize when and how to move team members in. Each team gets three runs and only the highest run counts.

The team’s first mission ran into problems as the light sensor didn’t work the same in the gymnasium as it had in the classroom.  The quality of light was different, so here the team ties to reprogram the robot between missions.

Another part is the team presentation on a topic related to the year’s theme.  The Technic Medic 5’s chose to present their information about the spinal cord in a format entitled “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Being 5th graders, they thought it was funny.

Another part of the judging is the technical interview where judges review their robot design, look at the code design, and ask questions about both.

Yet another part is an “instant challenge” where the team has a minute to prepare to solve a challenge they do not have any knowledge of before they enter the room.

Finally, teams are evaluated on “gracious professionalism, their enthusiasm, and how well the team members interact with each other.

The ending was like the movie “Hoosiers” for this team.  This tournament was for kids in grades 5-8.  Since it was the team’s first year, they were young, and it was their first year, their hopes to move onto state faded with each passing announcement during the awards ceremony.  Eight of the teams move onto the state tournament.  I kind of thought the team had a chance for the “rising star” award – given to a new team with great potential.  When that, and all the others came and went, except for the overall champion, the kids looked pretty disappointed – until they were announced as the top team of the day!  They practiced many days, took great instruction from their teacher who taught them how to speak and think like gracious professionals.  Congrats Team Technic Medics!  Good luck at state Competition at Iowa State after the new year!

one year ago…”Subersnow”