400 students from across Brooklyn were swarming inside 6 Metrotech Center, on the campus of NYU-Poly this weekend, for the NYC First Lego League Brooklyn Qualifier, for the citywide Lego robot championship. Thirty-five teams competed in the event and eighteen took home prizes, for everything from best robot performance to innovation solutions to programming.
The NYU-Poly Center for K12 STEM Education, which we have written about previously, organized the event. It also helped many of the teams prepare by providing graduate students to help different classrooms to get ready to participate. Ben Esner, Director of the Center, explained how this outreach has made it possible to create a more level playing field among teams and to bring in schools from across Brooklyn.
“We make a special effort to give all schools the means to participate,” Esner told us. The event is primarily made up of traditional public schools, though others participate as well.
Students could compete on the performance of their robots, or they could compete on research projects. The teams that won awards at the event will go on to compete at the Javits Center, in the citywide competition, on April 5th.
In this year’s competition, students have a number of tasks to complete with their robots on a simulated natural disaster field.
Technically Brooklyn spoke with a five year veteran of the game, Ivan, from MS442: the School of Innovation, who explained that his team mainly used the robot kit that came out of the box.
Its main modifications were a bumper and an arm that helped it push and control the ambulance that had to be rescued. His teammate, Precious, told us that she joined the team two years ago because she had always been interested in computers.
Jawad, from PS 3, also explained his team’s research project to us. He said the students in his group became interested in using drones for rescue missions after hearing about the disaster in the Philippines. He took part in presenting two robot drones during the research component, with 3D models.
One was a flying drone, with a camera and the capability for a heavy payload. The second was ground based, with a drill and plough, for moving through debris. He said, “I saw people in the Philippines who were in trouble so we decided to create machines that would help.”
Jawad’s teacher, Ryan Cain, is one of the repeat coaches for the Brooklyn event, and his classroom also has the support of one of Poly’s grad students.
To participate in the events, Esner explained that a team needs about $450 for the basic robotic kit. They also need the entry fee to participate in a competition which runs about $200, but that includes a model game board, allowing them to simulate the competition in class. Students know exactly what tasks they have to complete when they arrive at a competition.
Here are the complete results:
|School # / Name
|Robot Performance First Place
|PS94K The Henry Longfellow
|PS 8 Robert Fulton School
|Champion’s First Place
|Salve Regina Catholic Academy
|Fort Greene Prep
|IS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos
|Blood, Sweat, and Gears
|IS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos
|Packer Collegiate Institute
|Stanley Eugene Clark PS 399
|Robot Performance Third Place
|PS 270 Johann DeKalb
|The LEGO Mindblowers
|Advances to Championship
|Champion’s/Robot Performance Second Place
|Sunset Park Prep – Lego My Eggo
|Sunset Park Prep (Middle School 821)
|Against All Odds
|Strategy and Innovation
|MS 50 Warriors
|John D. Wells Middle School 50
|Madiba Prep Middle School
|Champion’s Third Place
|Lego Legacy 366
|MS 366 Science and Medicine Middle School
|Crispus Attucks PS 21
|Community Partnership Charter School
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