Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fifth Annual U City FLL Warm Up at UCHS

On Saturday, September 26th, University City High School was host to the fifth annual University City FIRST LEGO League Warm Up.  This event, sponsored by U. City Robotics, brought together 27 teams and approximately 125 students plus parents and mentors from across the region and as far away as Cape Girardeau.  FIRST LEGO League (FLL) introduces young people, ages 9 to 14, to the fun and excitement of science and technology. Teams, composed of up to ten children, build and program an autonomous robot to score points on a thematic playing field, as well as research and create a presentation centered around creative and innovative solutions to a problem (this year they will seek to solve the world's trash problems) and adhere to set of core values known as gracious professionalism.

The teams came to the Warm Up for an early chance to test drive the robots they are building and programming for the 2015 FLL challenge, TRASH TREK.  While there was no official refereeing or scoring, they had an excellent opportunity to meet and compete with other teams, and to practice for the upcoming November qualifiers (two of which will be held at Brittany Woods Middle School.) The event is also used by FIRST LEGO League of Eastern Missouri to train referees for the upcoming competition season.

FLL teams get the chance to play
this year's robot game in a timed

Technical support was on hand to assist teams with design, building, and programming as well as subject expertise for the project presentations required as part of the competition.  The City of University City sent an employee from Waste Management, and Washington University sent six subject experts to help with project research.

Students get expert help on their research projects.

Six of our own district FLL teams, from Jackson Park Elementary, Flynn Park Elementary, and Brittany Woods Middle School, participated in the event.  All district teams were sponsored by Rankin Technical College, who was also a sponsor of the event and provided technical support staff.

Members of the Brittany Woods team make adjustments
to their robot.
Our high school robotics team, the UCHS Robolions - FIRST Robotics Competition team #3397 - brought their competition robot to demonstrate and even allowed some of the kids from FLL to try their hands at driving it.  The Robolions also provided help with set-up the night before, and volunteered at the event in various capacities, including providing programming expertise and support.

UCHS Robolions team members
set up the FLL competition fields.

FIRST  (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest in science and technology. In 2015 FIRST programs will reach 400,000 students around the world through four leveled programs for kids K-12.  FIRST kids are significantly more likely to attend college, major in science or engineering, and be outstanding future employees and citizens, For more information, please visit www.usfirst.org.