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Grangeville Robotics team takes sixth at LCSC competition

LEWISTON — The Idaho County 4-H Camouflage Squirrel Association, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics team competed in the Idaho Regional Qualifying Tournament competition at Lewis Clark State College Saturday, Dec. 6, placing sixth in the competition. This was the team’s first competition, and their innovative approach to engineering, programming, and communications earned them a spot in the North State Championship Tournament in Moscow, on Jan. 24, 2015.

FLL is an international robotics and innovation program that ignites enthusiasm for science, engineering, and technology in boys and girls ages 9 to 14. Youth solve real-world challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.

Students involved include Aidan Acton, Brandon Vetter, Ian Wimer, Jake Fairchild, Lauren Wimer, Levi Stowell and Zach Theisen.

FLL teams participate in four equally weighted phases of competition:

•Performance – Robots have 2 minutes and 30 seconds to complete missions on a 4′ x 8′ playing field. Teams earn points based on the robots’ performance in each of these missions.

•Robot Design Judging – Team members interact with judges to explain robot design and programming approaches. Judges ask questions to determine team member roles and their individual understanding of the technical process.

•Project Judging – A presentation topic is announced that ties to the Challenge theme. Teams perform research and prepare a presentation to present creatively in front of a team of judges. Judges ask a variety of questions to determine their understanding of the research topic.

•Teamwork Judging – Teams are also judged on their teamwork skills and interactions. Communication, respect, responsibility, and problem-solving skills are part of this competition.

The team consists of 7 students ranging in age from 9 to 13. Two coaches, Suzanne Acton and Nora Fairchild, have guided the group through team-building activities, as well as the intricacies of programming and robot construction. Scott Wimer has been a technical advisor as well. For information on the Camouflage Squirrel Association and the upcoming tournament, contact Shawna Theisen at 451-4112.


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