Forty robotics teams from schools around the state will meet at Roger Williams University tomorrow to compete for the championship in the RI First Lego League (FLL), and Portsmouth Middle School will be there.
The mostly 7th-grade PMS team, The Gyzmo Geezer Gang, coached by teachers Rebecca Silveira and Kristen Pacheco, faced stiff competition in the qualifying round at Kickemuit Middle School in Warren on December 1, but came away with the third-highest score in robot performance.
The theme of this year's competition is "Senior Solutions," and teams have to design and program their robots, built with Lego Mindstorms, to navigate a complex space and earn points by performing specific tasks (line up "quilts," push a dog on a skateboard, balance on a tilting surface, retrieve a chair).
Students also had to design a helpful tool for seniors and introduce it in a team-based presentation, as well as demonstrating (and being judged on) core values including teamwork, friendly competition, shared learning, and "gracious professionalism."
First Lego League began in the late 1990s, and according to FLL statistics, now involves more than 200,000 students in more than 60 countries.
The FLL State Championship competition is free and open to the public at Roger Williams University tomorrow from 11am-4pm.
Big thanks to the Portsmouth teachers, staff, and parent volunteers who give so much time to make this all possible!
Full disclosure: My son is on the PMS team. Go Gyzmo Geezers!