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Walden Robotics

December 17, 2018
By Dr. Doug Williamson

The Walden School Robotics teams participated in the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy FLL Qualifier and FLL Jr. Expo on December 1 and our two FLL Jr. teams and our FLL team all enjoyed success!

Walden’s Blue and Gold teams put together Lego inspired sets for a table display showing their thought and ideas for what a moon base and launching pad might look like for the Mission Moon challenge. The teams also put together poster displays that highlighted their brainstormed ideas as well as each team member's photo show in a space setting, either in a rocket or a space suit, depending on the team.  The children’s poster displays were ably assisted by the wonderful Mrs. Heather McAndrews, who guided the team members' best ways of expressing their visions.

The Gold team won the Solid As a Rock Award for their display for "the team whose understanding and application of construction knowledge allowed them to produce the most solid and sturdiest design."   Congratulations to Aleksander (Team Captain), Kearnan, Andy, Arie, Toby and Joey!

The Blue team won the Gracious Professionalism Award for “exemplifying gracious professionalism during the event. This team was thoughtful, kind, and showed respect for others."   Knowing the emphasis that The Walden School places on collaborative learning in a setting where students respect one another, this has become a regular theme for Walden teams at FIRST events.  Congratulations to Matthew (Team Captain), Chase, Anisha, Danielle, Olivia and Emmi.

The FLL team faced a tough day due to robot problems.  The team did presentations for Core Values and Projects and represented The Walden School well thanks to the great work provided by Olivia, Griffin and Andre.  Although programming glitches threw a monkey wrench into the works, the team soldiered on to identify and explain the problems they were up against.

The teams went out for three robot matches in the afternoon and hoped to improve upon their previous performance.  Team Captain Adam and Co-Driver Ramsey, backed up by new programming from Madison and Sasha, took on the Escape Velocity mission.  This entails smashing a tire hammer down on a pad to shoot a rocket up a tower. After several tries, Adam and Ramsey switched to the Space Travel mission and successfully sent the astronaut's cart flying.  They went back and tried several times to complete Escape Velocity and they hit it the right way with one second left! In the next two missions, they were able to repeat their success while trying to add additional missions, but with no luck.  However, it was a positive ending to our robot driving due to the perseverance of the two young drivers, supported by their teammates. Our team finished a very respectable 12th place in a field of 26 teams.

The robot matches ended and the awards ceremony begin.  Knowing that we probably could have done better, we waited as different teams were given different awards.  Each award is given with a small speech that comments on an aspect of the team getting the award, which gives everyone a split second of anticipation.  The speech talked about this team ability to travel into space in their orange space suits.

Once we heard that, we knew we had won.  And, as usual for Walden students, it was in the Core Values category for the Inspiration Award.  That is "(a) team that is empowered by their FLL experience and displays extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit"  High praise indeed!

It was a long, hard, day, for everyone ... kids, coaches and parents.  In the end, the many good values instilled by parents and The Walden School once again shown though!  Well done team and all of those supporting them!!

The Walden Robotics teams dedicated their awards and successes today to Walden’s founder, Mrs. Mary LeFever, and wish her good health!  Our robot, "The Mary C.", showed its namesake's strength and mettle today!

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12/17/18 - By Dr. Doug Williamson
9/26/18 - By Kate Goodwin
9/24/18 - By Mrs. Albright