Learning Lego League
Did you know that LEGO’s aren’t just some building blocks you played with as a kid? LEGO’s are used at competitions, and even careers. But today I am focusing on what LEGO Robotics Competitions are, how to prepare for them, and how we performed.
LEGO Robotics Competitions consist of three things, each worth one third of your final score. These things are Table-Top Games, Presentation/Robot Design, and Core Values. Table-Top Games is where your robot carries out their programs to complete a mission on the board or table-top within 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The judges then tally up your points based on each mission and the highest score you get within the three rounds is your overall table-top score.The presentation is when you address a local community based problem, talk to people to see how you are going to fix it, then come up with ways to solve this problem. All of these things are placed on a poster board or trifold and presented to the judges. Robot Design is probably the most simplest judging part of the competition. The judges just look at the robot and give you a score based on their criteria given to them. And last, but certainly not least, is Core Values. Core Values is when team members show kindness to not only other teams but towards their teammates also. Core Values is also when you show great team spirit, aren’t a sore loser or a sore winner, and show great teamwork while working as a team.
To prepare for these competitions, teams usually have regular weekly practices where they work on and practice their presentation, make a core values poster, and perfect their robots program. The presentation must be neat and orderly, and everyone needs to speak loudly and clearly to get a good score. The Core Values poster is when the team makes a poster showing how you and your team show good core values, and maybe give out candy to other teams. To practice and perfect programs most teams make sure they place the robot consistently if using the grid to place the robot, and running each program as if at a real competition. Teams also try to choose missions that are worth a good amount of points, while simple and fast to carry out within the small time given. Teams usually line up in the order in which they will at the competition each time they run their programs to see if anything needs to be fixed and so team members are ready when they are at the real-life Table-Top Games.
At the regional competition held at ACTC Technical College, our team- The Fallsburg LEGO Dragons- and several other teams competed. We placed 1st in Robot Design and 4th place overall, sending us to the state competition at NKU (Northern Kentucky University). This was a much bigger competition, consisting of 50 teams all competing for 1st place to go to the national competition. We didn't win the 1st place title but I feel we did good as a team. Through this experience and help from our coach we learned a lot about teamwork, communication, and robotics. We had a great time and a valuable learning experience.
In conclusion, LEGO Robotics Teams are great experiences for students to have. From this experience I have learned what LEGO Robotics Competitions are, how to prepare for them, and how we performed. Competing at the regional and state competitions were great experiences that couldn't be replaced by anything else.
Team members this year were Alex Hogston, Casey Hovis, Austin May, Liam Edens, Jackson Burgess, Aubrie Laney, Holly Hall, Kayleigh McCoy, Preslie Laney, Cody Howell. The team was led by coach Craig McDavid.