St. Patrick School RoboCats earn advancement to State competition, awarded other high honors at First Lego League regional event


St. Patrick School RoboCats advance to First Lego League State Competition ... The St. Patrick School RoboCats robotics team competed in the First Lego League regional competition December 9 in Dubuque, earning advancement to the state level of competition January 13-14 in Ames and being awarded the honor of being selected as an Iowa Global Innovation Candidate for an additional special competition in the future. Pictured above, left to right, are: Front row - Ethan Palmer, Annie Ellingson, Isabel Nesseim, Jaxon Brinkman. Back row - Coach Loretta Schafer, Kyrie Snitker, Ezra Sweeney, Ethan Lewey, Jack O’Neill, Lucas Byrnes, Ryley Burington, mentor Pat Novak. Not pictured: mentor Nina VanGorp. Submitted photo.

Saturday, December 9, the St. Patrick School RoboCats robotics team competed in a First Lego League (FLL)  regional competition held at the Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School in Dubuque. The theme of the 2017 First Lego League season is Hydrodynamics.

Thirty teams of students, ranging in age from nine to 16, competed in the three major areas of First Lego League including Core Values, Robot Design and Robot Game, and Hydrodynamics Project.  Teams were judged in the areas of Core Values, Robot Design and Hydrodynamics Project, and they received points for each mission that was completed during the Robot Game matches. At the end of the competition, the judges tabulate points and choose teams to advance to the state competition held on the campus of the Iowa State University College of Engineering in Ames January 13-14.

Because of their strong overall performance and scores, the St. Patrick School RoboCats were honored to be chosen to advance to the state competition. The RoboCats also received a first-place trophy for their Hydrodynamics Project focusing on the Karst Topography of Northeast Iowa and Allamakee County. Their project had a special emphasis on sinkholes and the importance of keeping garbage and pollution out of sinkholes since they have a direct link to valuable groundwater. The students developed a publicity brochure and a model of a biofilter which was their innovative solution to some of the problems surrounding sinkholes.

The RoboCats were also recognized as the Iowa Global Innovation Candidate for this Dubuque regional qualifying meet. This will allow the RoboCats to participate in a special competition presented by XPRIZE to determine the one team that will represent the state of Iowa for global review of its Hydrodynamics project and innovative solution.

ABOUT FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
First Lego League is a program which encourages children to explore the world of science and technology while learning valuable employment and life skills.  First Lego League is built on three foundational building blocks: Core Values, the Robot Game, and the Project.

The Core Values are considered the heart of the program. The emphasis in this area is working together and helping each other. Students, coaches, mentors and parents of participants should demonstrate, at all times, that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals from one another.

The First Lego League Challenge each year is based on a set of real-world problems facing scientists and engineers today. The 2017 challenge was Hydrodynamics and encompasses all of the issues that may be related to water as a valuable world resource.

The First Lego League Challenge has two main parts which include the design and programming of a robot by team members to complete a series of missions during three matches of two-and-a-half minutes in length. The other part of the Challenge is a project that focuses on a real-world problem that teams identify and research. Teams then develop an innovative solution to the problem and share their findings with others.
 

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