#3: Build an autonomous robot to fit a pig with prosthetic legs and send it to its farm. Complete the mission in three 2.5 minute attempts.
Rialto robotics rookie team ‘The Magnificent 10’ from Casey Elementary accepted the challenge, gaining overall points in completed missions during the 3rd annual FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition qualifying tournament at Rialto Middle School Nov. 12.
The team advances to the Dec. 3 and 4 First Lego League Southern California Championship at Legoland.
Twenty teams and nearly 170 youngsters from throughout Southern California participated in the annual event, marking this year’s competition as the largest qualifying LEGO tournament in the Inland-area, said Rod Campbell, event organizer and Rialto Middle School science and math teacher.
“We’re gaining a lot of popularity year after year and it’s great to see it take off here,” he said.
This year’s theme, Animal Allies, challenged students to think like scientists and engineers in order to solve real-world problems with autonomous robots programmed using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology. Missions included moving a shark in a tank, leading a service dog and its human, and attaching a prosthesis to a pig, among several more.
“It’s stressful,” said 10-year-old Rhett Bogh, a fifth-grader from Chapman Heights Elementary School in Yucaipa and Wall-e bots team member.
“Stressful but so fun and challenging. It’s totally worth it when you complete a mission.”
For his team member Trenton, it was an opportunity to gain more knowledge at what he does best.
“It’s about measurements and strategy. I’m a programmer, this is what I do.”
For Trenton, the Rialto competition was the sixth under his belt and for Rhett, it marked the second.
“It’s like a thrill,” said Rhett. “You learn how to work as a team, help each other out and learn to like robotics and have fun. It’s not going to be my last.”
The same enthusiasm came from the competition’s first all-girl Muslim team — FemSTEM.
“It’s exciting but nerve wracking,” said team member Salma Rashad, 13.
“It’s our first year and we started learning robotics in August. So for us to be here as a rookie team and have a few programs done to be able to compete is a pretty big deal. It’s also really empowering to be here, not just as girls in science, but as a role model for others, especially muslim boys. This is an example to follow your dreams.”
And the girls went home with more to look forward to as they also advance to the Southern California Championships competition.
Additional Rialto competing teams this year included Rialto Middle School TigerBots
And Jehue Middle School Jaguars.
To learn more about First Lego League visit, www.firstlegoleague.org.