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St. Clare Walker students are 5th in robotics tourney

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Members of the St. Clare Walker Middle School robotics team include, front from left, Matthew Wilson, Kenneth Beam, Jack Graulich, Jack Ruark and Tyler Radabaugh; back row, Jerry Lindsey, Andrew Hudson, Tanner Johanson, coach Matthew Short and Kevin Horton.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) challenges students to solve real-world engineering challenges, develop important life skills, and learn to make positive contributions to society. FLL combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program with a sports-like atmosphere. Teams of up to 10 players focus on team-building, problem-solving, creativity, and analytical thinking to develop a well-thought-out solution to a problem currently facing the world.

In early September, a new Challenge is released to FLL teams across the world. In just eight weeks, the teams strategize, design, build, program, test and refine a fully autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMSTM technology. The robots are capable of completing various challenge missions in a “Robot Game.” The teams also search the web, talk to experts, visit the library and develop presentations based on the FLL “Research Assignment,” which relates to the problem identified in the Challenge, “Senior Solutions.”

In addition to the Challenge, the teams are evaluated in two other areas—teamwork and robot design.

St. Clare Walker’s FIRST Robotics Club, the Seahawks, attended the Deep Run High School FLL Tournament held on November 10 where thirteen teams competed against each other in a number of different events. For their “Senior Solutions” challenge, the SCW students developed the concept of a Universal Remote App to be used by the senior substitutes of our county. 

During the robot games where each completed task is awarded points, the SCW Seahawks quadrupled their practice score of 50 to walk away with a score of 203, resulting in 5th place overall.  

The SCW Seahawks team also won the coveted Judges Award that recognizes extraordinary ingenuity, sportsmanship and respect.  The Judges Award is not given every year, only when the judges feel they have a worthy recipient.  The team was commended for their politeness and maturity.  They were also recognized for their creativity in choosing a Senior Solution focusing on seniors in the workplace as opposed to a health-care solution.

The SCW Seahawks will continue to meet for the remainder of this school year to develop their skills and better prepare themselves for next year’s FLL Challenge.

posted 11.28.2012

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