Have you heard the great news about the Bananabots, Super Brotatoes and Red Hot Robot Masters? These names belong to three LEGO robotics teams in Valdez, and all three teams performed extremely well at a recent “virtual” qualifying event last Saturday, December 6th
at George Gilson Middle School (GGMS). It was a “virtual” event for the Bananabots from GGMS and the Super Brotatoes and Red Hot Robot Masters from Hermon Hutchens Elementary (HHES) because they competed via video conferencing along with four LEGO teams in North Slope communities. At this event, all three Valdez teams earned top honors in 3 categories: robot performance, robot design and core values/teamwork. This is the fourth year for LEGO robotics in Valdez, yet it is the first year that 30 students have been able to participate instead of being limited to 10 team members. All of the team members and coaches would like to thank the community sponsors who have allowed us to reach our current level of success and student involvement: United Way of Valdez, Copper Valley Electric Association, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Petro Star, and most importantly, the Valdez City School District. Here are some highlights from each team.
The Bananabots, an eleven person team coached by Officer Baczuk, has practiced for a number of weeks now and has overcome a variety of obstacles to include a new location and newly formed team. Team members really stepped up the quality of their practices in the weeks leading up to the tournament. They displayed a high level of cooperation, commitment, and innovation which ultimately led to them winning the robot performance competition as well as coming in first place for the overall qualifying event. The team would like to thank Mr. Morrison and Mrs. Franciosi for all of their support and efforts, as well as Mr. Langseth and the wood shop students for sharing their space with us. A big thanks to the Valdez City Schools district office and custodial staff as well!
The Super Brotatoes and Red Hot Robot Masters, coached by Erica Shirk and Cynthia Shidner, earned top awards thanks to the teamwork skills and the creative minds of both teams. Super Brotatoes won the “core values” award for their teamwork and cooperation. The Red Hot Robot Masters wowed the judges with their creative attachments in the area of robot design. Both teams would like to thank Mrs. Reese and Mr. Nygaard for their “above and beyond” support of our LEGO robotics program as well as a huge thank you to Jason Caudle for ensuring that our technology was top notch during the virtual event.
All three teams are working hard to prepare for the statewide “First LEGO League” competition in Fairbanks, which will take place on February 7th
, 2015. At this event, the Valdez teams will compete against 35 LEGO robotics teams in four categories: robot design, robot performance, team “core values” and a real-life project related to this year’s theme about improving education. We are very proud of how our LEGO robotics team members have represented our community of Valdez for the fourth year in a row. Thank you again to all of the community sponsors of our teams!
to view Lego Robotic teams