“3 … 2 … 1 … Lego!” That’s how it always began. And they were off to the races! 150 seconds of tension and excitement. It was all about minds and machines working together. The halls of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville rang with the sound of rousing cheers and the whirr and clicks of robots the week of May 19th, as 72 teams from around the world gathered to compete at the 2016 Razorback FIRST Lego League Invitational Championship.
In 1998, FIRST Founder Dean Kamen and the owner of the LEGO Group Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen joined forces to create FIRST LEGO League, a powerful program that engages children in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology through the FIRST LEGO League experience.
Dean and Kjeld have a shared belief that FIRST LEGO League inspires teams to research, build, and experiment, and by doing so, they live the entire process of creating ideas, solving problems, and overcoming obstacles, while gaining confidence in their abilities to positively use technology.
Each year FIRST LEGO League releases a Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic.
Each Challenge has three parts: The Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with at least one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.
This year’s Challenge was Trash Trek, focusing on ways to reduce the impact of trash in our world.
The members traveled with their families to the University of Arkansas this year in May. This team has been working hard to achieve their goals all year. Their solution to the food waste problem was a food management system, called the FoodSavvy system. It incorporates retail store networks, QR code technology, Smart Refrigerators, and smart Label data. They’re actually looking into getting their solution patented. They have had a wonderful season, starting at Kennett square, PA, where they won the first Place Champions Award at the Regionals. They moved on to win the 2 nd runner up Grand Champions award out of 48 qualifying teams at the State level. They participated in the 2016 Razorback invitational at the University of Arkansas and won the third place overall robot design award at this International Competition. The team and the coaches are very proud of their accomplishment.
Go the Sixth Sensors!