The Bedford Bulletin April 29, 2004
Homeschoolers win Director's Award at international meet in April
First, he explained, the judges were impressed with the transmission Team Mayhem installed in their robot.
"The judges were impressed with how hard the kids had worked on building," he said. "They actually mentioned that the transmission had 'knocked their socks off.'"
Streeter said the students also wowed the judges with a feature on their robot that allowed it to recognize its own battery level and adjust its performance as it began to die.
In addition to proving a certain level of technological expertise, FIRST Lego League teams are also expected to develop and present a short creative skit. Streeter said the students shocked even their own coaches when it was Mindstorms Mayhem's time on stage.
"They used a channel surfing skit, and the kids have never done it better than they did that day," Streeter said. "We kind of had our jaws hanging down on the ground at the back of the room watching."
For their efforts, the Mindstorms Mayhem team won a $5,000 grant from Lego to help the team develop a FIRST high school team for team members as they graduate to the higher level.
The FIRST Lego League competition is associated with the FIRST Robotics competition, founded by Bedford resident Dean Kamen in 1989. Kamen founded the competition in an effort to encourage problem solving skills and interest in technologies from a young age. The Lego League is for students ages 9 to 15.
In both levels of competition, teams must construct a robot from a kit of parts, and then program it to accomplish a number of tasks.
This year the Lego League had the theme of Mars exploration, and robots were required to traverse a Mars-scape littered with obstacles.
The April 15 competition was held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Forty-seven teams from 39 states and five foreign countries competed.
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