Twenty-eight FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams came together to compete in a tournament hosted at ASL on December 1. This tournament is one of three London regionals and included nine teams from ASL, one team from Paris, France, and the rest from the London area. The teams comprised of students aged 9-16 with varying experience in robotics.
Being part of FLL gives students an opportunity to come up with creative solutions to solve problems that they would not be exposed to in the classroom. Ms. Maida Shivik, director of the tournament, said “It gives them such an amazing way to problem-solve, to try and fail, and go back to the drawing board.”
In preparation for the FLL tournament, newcomers worked with more experienced students, who provided support and help. Mentors provided resources to support less experienced students who, because of time constraints, were not able to learn basic robotic skills.
Each team is judged on four different areas: a project based on a theme chosen each year, core values that the teams shows, the technical design and programming of the robot, and the game that the robot completes.
Mr. Chris Goff, FLL senior mentor, said “Everyone on the team can find a place within one or more of those areas.”
When asked about what the biggest challenge was, Mr. Goff said, “I think team dynamics were the hardest part… In order to be successful, the team needs to work together.”
The entire process is made up of three rounds. The first round is the regional tournament, which was held at ASL this year. Following this, the top two teams go to nationals, and several teams from nationals continue on to the World Festival.
An ASL team of seventh-graders, Guardians of the Ga1axy, were runner-ups at the London regional and will go to nationals in Bristol on February 16. The majority of that team went to nationals and the World Festival last year.