Robotic competition takes over Warren Central
Published 1:00 am Sunday, November 23, 2014
Hundreds of students from across the state played with Legos Saturday, but it wasn’t your typical leisurely weekend afternoon. Instead of building imaginary castles or boats in the living rooms of their homes, these students from across Mississippi put together autonomous Lego robots that competed against one another in the 2014 FIRST LEGO League Red Carpet Qualifier tournament held in Warren Central High School’s gym.
Twenty-four teams took to the floor in a four-part competition designed to pick the most well rounded teams to advance to the state championship at the Vicksburg Convention Center Dec. 20. The teams went through a three-section judging process before unleashing their robots on a course to complete pre-determined tasks in 2-minute intervals.
Judges evaluated the teams on a variety of skillsets, from the design of the robots to how well the students worked together with each other in performing a specific task.
We’re trying to teach the kids ‘cooperitition,’ Mississippi’s FIRST LEGO League representative Eddie Melton said. “It is a competition, but we’re going to cooperate. One team will help another. If there’s one team that’s struggling and can’t get something done, someone else can help show them.”
With a packed gym cheering and dancing to music that blasted from the speakers, the teams competed on different courses to complete challenges like closing a door with the robots or shooting a ball at a goal. The only time the participants were allowed to touch their robots was in the “home base” area that was sectioned off in a corner of the course.
“It was awesome,” Beechwood Elementary student Brayden Robinson said of his first round run. “The best part is getting to know each other.”
Emilee Bloodworth of St. Francis Xavier Elementary School believed the most exciting part of the tournament was the rush she got while competing with her robot.
“I like the adrenaline,” she said. “It took us about 10 to 12 weeks to build the robot. Getting to know people is the most fun part.”
The teams that won awards at the competition include:
Team Awesome Award: 9111 Emergency Brainiacs
Project Award: 12762 Bovina Fabricators
Robot Design: 309 RECHARGED
Robot Performance: 286 Mythical Intelligence
Core Values: 12776 Machine Masters
Red Carpet Qualifier Champion: 7271 Bowmar Builders