On Saturday, December 5, 2015, the Chapin School hosted its annual FLL, or FIRST Lego League, Scrimmage in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The event is designed to give the participating teams a feel for competing with their robots before the competition season begins.
For the third year in a row, our team attended the event, alongside four FLL teams from Chapin, Horace Mann, Dalton, and St. Clare’s. This year’s challenge was Trash Trek. It had the participants design an innovative solution to improve the way trash is handled. The middle school students creatively designed impressive robots.
We had the opportunity to volunteer to help out the teams practicing both this year’s robot game and their presentations before the upcoming qualifier. The scrimmage was separated into different categories including the judging panel and interviews.
We refereed robot game matches and acted as judges for the students’ Projects and Core Value presentations. We were able to provide a lot of feedback on robot design and team management and learn a lot about their core values. We were also able to give a presentation on our own team and on FRC.
We also had a chance to learn more about RoboCup. Participating teams’ robots had to engage in a soccer game using arduino. The robots were able to maneuver the ball and defend against other teams’ robots. “It wasn’t anything like we have seen before.” Violet says. “It was impressive to see how students so young were able to make these incredible things.”
“The event was really impressive because children of all ages knew so many things about robots and math – so much more than I had expected,” says Tanushree Burman. “It was my first time to experience the event and I was surprised by how much the kids knew and how excited they were to tell me exactly what they knew.”
Karen Nguyen says, “I thought it was so inspiring to see young kids, especially girls, begin to learn about STEM and to have so much enthusiasm about robotics. I definitely wish I had participated in the program when I was younger but I’m glad that so many kids now are becoming exposed to engineering and programming.”
We were extremely impressed with how much all the students at the scrimmage had learned over this past season. We greatly appreciated the opportunity to experience the event and we look forward to attending again next year.