FIRST® LEGO® League teams sponsored by Arnold STEM place in regional qualifying tournament

  • Published
  • By Deidre Ortiz
Of the 24 FIRST® LEGO® League teams sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Outreach Program, 10 did well enough at the East Tennessee FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Qualifying Tournament to move on to compete at the East Tennessee Championship competition in February.

A total of 26 FLL teams, made up of elementary and middle schools students, participated in the tournament on Dec. 9 in Manchester.

FLL teams, which are made up of students and guided by adult coaches, research a real-world problem, such as food safety, recycling or energy, and are challenged to develop a solution and present their results. This year’s theme was HydroDynamics. They also must design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.

The Qualifying Tournament included six FLL Junior teams. Arnold STEM staff sponsored half of these teams and presented awards for their excellent displays on the theme of Aqua Adventures.
While the judges deliberated over the FLL final scores, four of six FIRST® Tech Challenge Teams sponsored by the Arnold STEM program held a scrimmage with the robots they’ve programmed to compete at the High School level.

Jere Matty, Arnold AFB STEM Outreach Program coordinator, mentioned this was a great opportunity for the younger teams to watch and learn from the older students.

“They provided inspiration to our elementary and middle school FLL teams by showing what they get to look forward to in high school,” he said.

Matty also congratulates all of the teams for their hard work and practice and is looking forward to supporting the winning teams at the East Tennessee FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Championship competition.

“They did an outstanding job and we couldn’t be prouder of these young folks,” he said.