Newton Team Awarded Prize at State Championships
This weekend, four Newton teams competed in Robonautica, the State Championships FIRST Lego League Robotics event held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The Ligercubs, Jordana Conti, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Sophia Montague and Bobbi O'Guin, from FA Day Middle School won the Programming Award. This all girl team has been competing together for 4 years. Another team of students from FA Day Middle School, Pause4Effect, placed second in the programming award. CaBOTS, students from FA Day, Bigelow, and Shady Hill, and Bears 1 from Brown Middle School also competed at the State Championships and won individual team awards.
The FIRST Lego League promotes STEM for children 9-14. It inspires innovation, self-confidence, communication, and leadership. There are over 20,000 teams in more than 70 countries. Each September, FLL announces the annual Challenge, which engages the teams in hands-on robotics design and authentic scientific research. Teams are judged on robot performance, technical presentation, core values and research presentation. No adults or coaches are allowed in the judging rooms.
The robot has 2.5 minutes to complete as many tasks as possible to score in robot performance. Each team competes in 5 matches. Technical presentation is judged on robot design, construction, and programming. Each team presents their robot and discusses its unique features and abilities to a panel of judges. The entire team is expected to participate. Core values are judged on Teamwork, Inspiration and Gracious Professionalism.
Each year FLL selects a topic which the students research, identify a problem and create an innovative solution. The students are judged on the quality of their research including problem identification, sources, analysis, reviewing existing solutions, the proposed solution and their presentation to the judges. This year's challenge was Senior Solutions. The project is to identify a problem faced by seniors and create an innovative solution.
The Ligercubs interviewed and surveyed 75 senior citizens and identified seniors have a fear of falling but do not really like to use a cane or walker. Their solution was to design a belt with sensors that will sense when someone is about to fall. Using air-bag technology the belt deploys legs to catch the senior before falling. At the competition the girls are allotted five minutes to present their project and then the panel will ask the team questions. The girls also presented their solution to a group of 12 seniors at Chestnut Hill Towers and filmed a video of the presentation which will be shown on NewTV.