At the beginning of the school year, when the FIRST Lego League robotics program booted up, one seventh grade team, known as The Guard1ans 0f the Ga1axy was created. They have been so successful that they are now preparing to attend the World Festival in Detroit.
The team originally consisted of Matteo Salloum, Asad Ahmed, Ishaan Sareen, Robi Arpaio, Zain Rafiq, Nikhil Mehta, Edward O’Dywer and Ian Beal. After a semester of building, programming, and researching, they competed in the North London Regional competition, hosted at ASL on December 2.
They won first place in the Robot Game earning a top score of 147 points. They also got second place overall in the tournament through the strength of their research project, core values, robot design judging, and robot game performance. These accomplishments qualified them for the UK and Ireland National Finals held in Bristol, England on February 14.
Throughout the period before the finals, the team drastically changed their robot in an attempt to accomplish more missions and also continued gathering information for their research project. They also added two new members from sixth-grade Om Agarwal and Xavier Goff. They also changed their name to Griffin Sprog, the honorary title given to any ASL middle school robotics team that reaches the National Finals.
As mid-February came closer, the Griffin Sprog buckled down making final adjustments. Eventually, the day came to pack the robot and head to Bristol.
On competition day things did not go exactly to plan. Their research project presentation wasn’t spectacular. However, a change came in their third and final robot game round where they reached the top twelve out of around seventy teams at the competition. Then, they shared their design process, robot design, and programming to the judges, convincing the judges that their robot design was the best in the UK and Ireland.
During the closing ceremony, as awards were given, the Griffin Sprog sat amidst the crowd waiting, hoping their name would be called. Finally, with only three awards left, the announcer read out loud to the audience: “Now winning First Place Robot Design…. It’s the Griffin Sprog from the American School in London!”
They made their way to the front of the stage holding up the Griffin Sprog sign and were handed the trophy and an envelope. After getting a photo, they headed down to read the envelope. Scanning through the letter with Mentor Serlina Swaby-Constantine they learned that they had qualified for the Detroit, Michigan World Festival. They erupted in cheers and did not head home empty-handed.
Now the Griffin Sprog is preparing for the World Festival, on April 24-27, with mentors Mr. Chris Goff, Ms. Swaby-Constantine and Mr. Kojo Baffour. They are representing the UK and Ireland, and are hoping to perform well. The Griffin Sprog journey is not finished yet.