‘Metal Minds Robotics’ FLL Team are Winners & Grinners !

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Thank you to the ‘Metal Minds Robotics’ team for a great FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Competition at the Tasmanian State Championships on Saturday 19 October 2016, held in Hobart. I trust everyone else enjoyed the day at least half as much as I did. It was fantastic to see our future Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians putting their combined skills together for such a great out come.

‘Metal Minds Robotics’ team didn’t win the overall competition, but we did win the Best LEGO Engineering category for our Robot, and its attachments for solving the the puzzles on the competition mat. As a confirmed LEGO Engineering addict, this was more than I had hoped for and has made me extremely proud of my young charges. Congratulations to all team members on our win. All the effort you put in paid has off with our award!

When it came to the Robots game, luck wasn’t on our side with two equipment failures with the puzzles on the competition mat. Our first run was effect by first time nervousness. The second run was foiled by the ‘Blind Man & his Dog’ at the ‘Zebra Crossing’, with the Crossing Trip Mechanism not being attached to the mat correctly. The third major issue was the result of the Judges failing to pack the food into the ‘Refrigerator’ properly, causing the Animal Found to jam, and not being able to be dispensed by our teams Robot. The refrigerator debacle had a major flow on effect, as we where really relying the large point score available when feeding the animals. The Team had really nailed emptying the fridge and feeding the animals which gave us maximum points nine out of 10 runs. 

They are defiantly not the same group of kids that I met for the first time, nearly six months ago. They have all done exceptionally well, and filled all the aims of the FLL ethos with ease. Each child has grown in so many aspects, which put them in great stead for their future pursuits. We have a broad selection of very switched on and capable team members. Among them is Brady who suffers from Asperger Syndrome. 

Asperger Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD). People with Asperger syndrome view the world differently to most people, and have difficulty with social, emotional and communication skills. They are often seen as eccentric.

Brady was very timid at the beginning, but has grown to be our secret weapon when it comes to enthusiasm and revving up the team. At the start of his journey with ‘Metal Minds Robotics’ team, he was very timid towards me, but a couple of months along we both connect through a joint love of finding patterns and repetition within in our surroundings and in mathematics. On Saturday after the completion of the competition, Brady spend time with anyone who would listen to him explaining why his team’s Robot won the design category. I found the whole episode somewhat emotion and extremely rewarding.

I look forward to working with all the members of the ‘Metal Minds Robotics’ team, as we work towards the 2017 Competition.

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