Robo Saints compete at State LEGO Robotics Competition

St. Joseph School’s “Robo Saints” recently won their regional LEGO Robotics competition and they were invited to participate in the Boston Scientific Minnesota First Lego League State Championship on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Washington Technology School in St. Paul.
St. Joe’s was one of 66 teams to participate in the State Championship after advancing through a qualifying regional tournament in early January. Over 500 teams from Minnesota participated in First Lego League competition in 2013-14.
First Lego League is part of an international robotics program that includes more than 200,000 kids in 63 countries. The competition consists of three parts: The Robot Game, The Project and the Presentation of Core Values.
In The Robot Game, teams design, build and program an autonomous robot using a Lego Mindstorms Robot Kit to achieve specific milestones on a thematic playing board. Teams compete in three 2.5 minute rounds and are evaluated on mechanical design, programming, design innovation and strategy. Points are awarded for different missions that are completed by the team.
This year’s project consisted of a challenge by First Lego League to solve a real world problem by developing an innovative solution and sharing their work and research in a presentation to a panel of judges. The theme was called Nature’s Fury. The Challenge was to present ways to survive, stay safe and rebuild in the face of natural disasters.
The Core Values component of the competition includes eight guiding principles of First Lego League Competition. It describes the effort to work as a team guided by coaches and mentors, honoring the spirit of friendly competition, sharing their experiences and having fun. St. Joe’s team finished second in state for their Presentation of Core Values. They described in detail to judges how they utilized the Core Values principles in their project. St. Joe’s finished 5th overall in the technical programming of their robot.
St. Joe’s finished in first place in state in the Project Presentation Category. This award went to the team that most effectively defined the problem and communicated the proposed solution to the judges. The St. Joe’s team created a mock newscast and presented their research and conclusions using this technique. They described a simple cost effective solution with items that many might already have in their house in an effort to help people rebuild their lives in the event of a catastrophe.
The St. Joe’s “Robo Saints” finished in 13th place overall this year. The finish by St Joe’s was its highest in four years of competition by the team.