On Saturday, December 9th, the Augusta Independent Robotics Team, made up of 7th and 8th grade students, competed in the Northern Kentucky Regional Qualifying FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament at Turkey Foot Middle School. The program, which is designed to help students become engaged in science, technology, and engineering, is in its 5th year of operation at AIS. Each year, teams receive a designated challenge, consisting of “mission models” that students must complete using robots built entirely from LEGO pieces, powered by a programmable computer interface and motors.
This year’s theme, Hydro Dynamics, was centered entirely on water. Team members were judged in four categories: (1) core values, such as teamwork and critical-thinking skills, (2) a project involving a real-life problem related to water, with a unique and creative solution to this problem, (3) robot design, including mechanical engineering and programming, and (4) the robot game itself, where teams try to complete as many missions as possible in 2.5 minutes.
The awards ceremony for the all-day event ends with recognition of the teams that progress to the state tournament. Out of 50 teams, Augusta Independent was selected as one of the 12 teams to advance to the state finals.
“I am so proud of these young men and women,” Coach Chris Mason said. “They have not only met my expectations as a coach, they have exceeded them.”
This is the first time that the robotics team has advanced to state. Coach Mason said, “This is a fantastic team that has shown tremendous improvement throughout the season, so to find out they made it to the next level is one of the most exciting moments I’ve ever had as an educator. The team received such high marks in all areas that they met the Champion’s Criteria for advancement. I’m so happy for them. To be able to experience a state tournament, while representing AIS, is a moment they will never forget.”
Finals will be held on Saturday, February 3rd, at Northern Kentucky University, featuring 48 regional champions from across the state. An official schedule of daily events will be released at a later date.