On Saturday January 13, The Sinking Ship (7th grade) and Sophisticated A.I. (8th grade) teams traveled to Elgin Community College to compete in a First Lego League’s (FLL) state tournament. Each team had qualified for the tournament by placing among the top 4 teams at their qualifying tournaments in December.
Both teams spent the morning in three interviews representing the three aspects of FLL: Core Values, the Design Project and Robot Design.
For the Design Project, The Sinking Ship shared what they have been learning about Chicago’s ongoing problem with combined sewer overflow during severe storms and discussed their ideas for how nanotechnology might help alleviate this problem in the future. Sophisticated A.I. demonstrated the hydroponics system they have been building in the Middle School Collab Lab and described what they have been learning about how open source hydroponics can grow crops more efficiently and may represent the next phase of agricultural production. They also shared their proposal to help the Open Ag initiative make personal food computing and open source hydroponics more accessible to a broader audience (especially younger kids).
In the afternoon, the teams ran their robots at the performance table for four rounds, with their highest score counting as their robot performance score for the day. Both teams did a remarkable job of working throughout the day to resolve some of the kinks and improve their robots, and each team finished the day with their highest score of 155 points a score that tied them for 16th place out of the 51 teams at the tournament.
In addition, Sophisticated A.I. impressed the judges so much in all three interviews that they were awarded the Champion’s Award for the tournament. This award is given to the team that “embodies the FIRST LEGO League experience, by fully embracing our Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project.”
As the top finisher at the tournament and winner of the Champion's Award, team Sophisticated A.I. has earned a slot to represent Parker and the state of Illinois at the FLL World Festival in Detroit in April.
Congratulations to the members of The Sinking Ship for a strong finish to their season:
And congratulations to the members of Sophisticated A.I. for this exceptional accomplishment:
Thanks to 6th grade Assistant Teacher Adrian Leo for helping out on Saturday and serving as co-coach of Sophisticated A.I. throughout the season.
for photos from the tournament.