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NCA Robogators Teams Finish in Top 10

Harvey Field
Published:2015-02-27 School
NCA Robogators Teams Finish in Top 10    Print Snohomish Times    
NCA Robogators Teams Finish in Top 10

Aptly named the Robogators, since the Northshore Christian Academy (NCA) mascot is an Alligator, both of NCA’s teams finished in the State’s top 10 of 600 teams this year. The Robogators are NCA’s FIRST LEGO League competitive robotics club, made up of two teams of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. The two teams met twice a week each for 5 months to prepare for the FLL competitive season this year.

The FLL is a robotic competition developed for middle school students with a differing theme that is drawn from real events in society every year. There are always three primary activities which include: building and programing a small robot to accomplish missions; investigating a given research topic and preparing a presentation; and building a team around FLL Core Values.

After successfully advancing through the district level qualifying challenge in December, and then the regional semi-finals in January, both NCA Robogators teams were invited to compete at the FIRST LEGO League Western Washington State Finals on January 31, 2015 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.

Washington had over 600 teams statewide including British Columbia this year, of which 30 of the best teams from around the state competed at the finals. NCA was fortunate to have both of its teams represented. Both teams worked independently to design, build and program an autonomous robot to complete tasks on the competition table. In addition to the robot work, each team worked diligently to create and present an innovative solution to this year's FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge: World Class Learning Unleashed. Both Robogators teams did their best to create alternatives on how we gather knowledge and skills that could improve the advancement of learning and schooling practices in the 21st century.

For instance, Team 1 created a "Public-Speak-o-Phobe-o-Bot” that helps people with a fear of public speaking overcome their fear through exposure therapy using an on-stage telepresence robotic avatar. Team 2 created a new innovation to give the student the advantage of leading edge technology to capture, visualize, and imagine the subject they're studying, including reducing the overall number of pages in each textbook, reducing production costs and engaging the students by utilizing various styles of learning.

NCA’s Robogators teams presented their robot design, their solution to the FLL challenge, and gave their best presentation of their specific application of the FLL core values. Each team was evaluated according to their performance in all of these areas. Both teams each had three chances to send their robots out and complete a sequence of tasks in live competition. By the end of the final robot games state competition, Robogators Team 1 ranked 4th place, and Robogators Team 2 ranked 9th place. Team 2 was also awarded the ‘Robot Innovation Award’!

NCA would like to congratulate our Robogators Teams and their Team Coaches on a very successful season! NCA would also like to thank the teams’ sponsors: Intellectual Ventures, Boeing Company and Abramson Family Chiropractic. The 2014-2015 award winning NCA Coaching team included: Mr. Chad Abramson, Mrs. Elise Abramson, Mr. Jonathan Bloedow, Mr. David Chen and Mr. Cori Stepan. These coaches were allowed time off work by their employers to coach, because they see this endeavor as a great investment in the future of engineering and STEM education.




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