NASHUA, N.H. (Dec. 13, 2003) * Mindstorms Mayhem, a team of 10 students home schooled from five cities in southern New Hampshire, was named 2003*s BAE Systems FIRST LEGO* League New Hampshire State Tournament champion at the Nashua High School North Campus, Dec 13.
Placing second was the Flying Geeks, Nashua Christian Academy, Nashua, N.H.
FIRST LEGO* League (FLL) is one of the largest science competitions for students throughout the U.S.
Mindstorms Mayhem was among 48 elementary and middle school teams from throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts providing both a robotic solution and a research presentation to interplanetary mission challenges. *Mission Mars* invited students to explore the Martian landscape, solving problems unique to the Red Planet*s environment.
*The greatest challenge was to learn to work together as a team,* said Ben Streeter, Mayhem robot handler, *Once we did, we found we were good at different things * builders, programming, team spirit and research.*
Other Mindstorms Mayhem students are Melissa Gray, Nathan Gray, Brian Jennings, Ben Krupkin, Jacob Krupkin, David Schunemann, Ben Streeter, Nathan Streeter, Dan Umenhofer and Vickie Umenhofer. Coaches are Ken Streeter, Bill Gray and Christopher Jennings.
FLL, in its fifth season, seeks to encourage an interest in science, math and technology among students, ages 9-14, in a compressed, rapid-paced program. *This year*s challenge was particularly exciting because it made a current event -- NASA*s Mars rover landing next month -- relevant to each participant,* said Linda Lavoie, director for the New Hampshire tournament. *Students gain a broader appreciation of current events because they*re encouraged to recognize the challenges inherent in an event as well as hone their skills to solve those challenges. At the same time, everyone -- students and volunteers -- is having fun.*
In October, more than 49,000 students from throughout the U.S., and 12 other nations accepted the challenge to solve Martian exploration and colonization challenges faced by astronauts and NASA engineers. For the past eight weeks, the 4,200 teams worked on their robotic solutions using LEGO* MINDSTORMS * robotics technology kits; strategizing, then designing, building and testing their solution to solve Martian exploration challenges. For the research element, the teams studied one of the challenge*s missions and developed a research question related to such issues as maneuvering and travel, Martian living conditions, space technology and alliances. They then prepared a presentation to demonstrate how robotics technology can address their question.
In the Mayhem presentation, they discussed the need for energy resources and the practical application of a geothermal power solution, explained Nathan Gray, Mayhem team member. *Solar panels are too hard to keep free of the Martian dust; windmill blades would have to be too large to maintain and hamster power isn*t economical. So geothermal power becomes the obvious and practical resource.*
At the New Hampshire Tournament, a robot*s performance was judged in a 2-1/2 minute round to accomplish certain tasks on an 8-foot by 4-foot tabletop, maneuvering around obstacles and creating alliances with other teams for maximum performance. For Mission Mars, tasks included clearing dust from a solar panel, loading and launching a canister from a MAV launcher, connecting habitation modules, freeing a rover and moving ice cores to base.
Over the last six months, WGBH*s *Zoom* has documented the FLL program and entered a team in the New Hampshire tournament; the five-part series is set to air May 2004 as part of the popular education program.
Team R1 R2 R3 Best
======================= === === === ====
Frozen Vikings 290 327 293 327
Mindstorms Mayhem 276 268 319 319
Team 1744 176 205 319 319
RoboMonkeys 317 256 254 317
Longmeadow Black Riders 223 291 227 291
Rust Rovers 271 193 217 271
NRD 118 246 187 246
Omega Constant 172 168 223 223
Mill Pond Vikings 192 54 98 192
The Matrix 178 129 140 178
Pleiades 119 177 162 177
The Flaming Mars 117 66 141 141
Kwamima 100 113 132 132
Woot! 67 117 66 117
Devobot 97 109 109 109
ALT (Rugrats) 61 98 74 98
The Dorks 70 39 47 70
Team 0818 39 39 41 41
Team 0719 39 39 39 39
Team 1744 over NRD
Mindstorms Mayhem over Flaming Mars
Frozen Vikings over Pleiades
Rust Rovers over RoboMonkeys
Frozen Vikings over Team 1744
Mindstorms Mayhem over Rust Rovers
Mindstorms Mayhem (400) over Frozen Vikings (343)
Some yes and some no.
See Mat & Borders
Attention FIRST LEGO League Teams:
Due to the weather conditions this past weekend and a time crunch between now and the state competition, there will be a FIRST LEGO League State Tournament Qualification Interview Process held on December 11th, 2003, at FIRST Place, from 4-7:00 pm. Teams that did not have the opportunity to compete at a local tournament are eligible for the Qualification Interview Process. We have worked hard to accommodate all suggestions, and feel this will be the best solution for the situation at hand. We recognize the teams would like the opportunity to compete against each other at a local level. The State Committee Members are in the process of organizing local tournaments to take place after the 1st of the New Year.
- Interview Style- in front of a judge panel composed of a Referee, Presentation Judge, and Technical Judge
- The Interview Process will last 30 minutes
- In the 30 minutes teams will be judged in the following categories:
Performance, Technical, Presentation, and Teamwork
- Teams will arrive with their robot programmed and ready to perform (there will not be an opportunity to alter programs)
Once Your Team Arrives:
- Upon arrival, teams will check-in at the registration table
- A volunteer will hand you a card with a letter, and direct you to your assigned judging area
- Once called to the judging area you will complete the interview process and then you are free to go
- Teams will be notified if they will advance to the State Tournament on Friday morning
What to Bring:
- A Programmed Robot
- Robot Program Printouts
- Presentation Printouts
- If you have a PowerPoint presentation or need a computer for your presentation you will have to bring your own laptop.
Prior to Thursday 12/11/2003:
- Please RSVP No Later than NOON on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 via email
- In the email please include:
- The time your team plans to arrive between (4:00-6:30pm)
- Type of presentation
- The email address you would like to be notified at on Friday morning with your team's results from the Qualification Interview Process
Please Be Considerate:
- Parking is limited. To limit confusion please carpool to this event.
- Once your team has finished their interview process please exit the judging area promptly so that the next team can begin the process.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation, patience, support and understanding during this time. We are doing our very best to accommodate as many people we can. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, December 11th.
BAE SYSTEMS State Committee
Alison B. McFarland
BAE Systems FIRST Coordinator