Monday, December 12, 2011
Lego Robotics Tournament
There were 62 teams competing at this year's Lego Robotics tournament in Augusta. The theme was Food Factors. Every year the teams are tasked with coming up with an innovative solution for a problem within the sphere of the theme. The focus this year was on food contamination through things such as handling, transport or preservation. This year was the biggest group we've seen...it just seems like Lego Robotics gets more and more popular. In fact there were quite a few rookie teams this year, enough that there was a whole category devoted to them. Here are this year's trophies. Tom Bickford is the genius behind our state of Maine tourney...without him we'd not have this kind of great opportunity. As if he didn't dedicate enough time and energy towards coordinating this massive event, he even made the trophies this year! Yes, they are made from Legos. So cool!
For our food focus, we chose....da da da dahhhh!....lobsters. Specifically how to prevent contamination of the listeria bacteria that can live on lobster shells from making humans sick. Saylor was our lobster. She really did SIGN UP FOR THIS. I told her this picture may come back to haunt her when she gets into high school. Speaking of high school, there's Cody in the background!
The kids were scheduled to do their presentation first in the morning, then do the robot competition in the afternoon. They made a little skit about how the lobster goes from the trap to the table. I guarantee our kids were the smelliest ones to compete as their oil gear was absolutely mangy with old bait juice! At first, I didn't realize what was happening as they were getting ready. I was like, "Man, what reeks?" Ummm. yeah. That would be US.
Their innovative solution to combating the listeria bacteria? The Bacteria Buster! A tank with a chute that the lobsters go through before being submerged in water. The chute is lined with UV lights that kill off the harmful bacteria. Less bacteria, less illness. Great idea!Saylor, alas, perished at the end of the skit. Bradley was the chef. He couldn't wait to cook her up. Then it was time for questioning. Our kids are pretty reticent and this was no different. It's not like "Don't all talk at once, kids!" It's more like, "Will someone please talk? You. No, you."
In the afternoon, we were up with the robot. We had three chances to run our missions. Each trial is only 2 minutes 30 seconds, so it's really exciting and hectic. The kids were solidly in third place after their first two runs, and then moved to the last run. Well, they had a great run and made it into the final round in 3rd place. I have to admit, I was a complete basketcase. They, on the other hand, were totally collected. In the semi-finals, they had the best run yet. They made it to the final four! I cried like a baby. I'm tearing up right now, just thinking about it. Mr. Finn and I were so excited for these terrific kids.Though they didn't make it to the final 2, they finished 3rd out of 62 teams and received a trophy from Tom. They were some seriously happy campers. They made us, their parents, and our entire island community very very proud.
Yay Sea Monsters!!