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Bedford teams win BIG at Acadia Robotics Tournament

Bedford Teams solve real-world problems through robot design and research at FIRST® LEGO® League Food Factor Robotics Competition hosted by Acadia University to foster interest in computer programming, science, math, problem solving, and teamwork among students aged 9-14.

Three teams and a coach from the Falcon Academy of Robotics based out of Bedford won awards at the ACADIA University Robotics Competition held Saturday, February 4th.

The FLL competition is judged in four areas: project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and teamwork.

The The Champions Award was awards to EIJ Robotics as the team that best exemplified the spirit and values of the FLL program. The team will have the opportunity to proudly represent Nova Scotia at the FIRST LEGO League North American Open Tournament of Champions to be held at Legoland in California this May.

ROBOmasters, also of Falcon Academy, received the First Place award for their Teamwork and the B.R.I.C.K.s of Bedford, of Falcon Academy, were First overall for their robot performance and the Narwal Nerds, of Second Bedford, received First Place for their Inspiration.

Coach Heather Travers, co-director of the Falcon Academy of Robotics, was also recognized for her significant contribution as a mentor and advocate for the growth, support, and development of FIrst Lego League throughout the province.

Coach Heather Travers was also recognized at the Competition as an Outstanding Coach for her significant contributions and mentorship to support the growth and promotion of First Lego League in Nova Scotia.

This September children around the world were tasked with the challenge and excitement of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST® LEGO® League(FLL) “Food Factor” Challenge.

On Saturday, February 4th at Acadia University, 29 teams of children and their coaches from across Nova Scotia enthusiastically demonstrated their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

Among the participants were Patrick Leblanc, Ben Huggard, Liam Travers, Keigan Tulloch and Ryan Rizcallah, Nick Palov, RowanTulloch of Eaglewood Elementary; Emma Travers of Bedford Junior High, Julia and Isabelle Sarty of Gorsebrook Junior High; Jack MacDonald of Kingswood Elementary and Nick McKenna of Waverley Memorial.

These grade four through nine students from Bedford are students of the Falcon Academy of Robotics and are members of the FLLTeams, B.R.I.C.K.S., B-building R-robotic I-inventions C-connects Ks-kids of Bedford, also known as “B.O.B.” , E.I.J. Robotics, and ROBOmasters.

FIRST LEGO League is an international program created in a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and The LEGO® Group in 1998 based on a common belief that fun and learning go hand-in-hand, and that an inspired mind can accomplish anything.

Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies and LEGO play materials, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program robots to complete missions based on real-world challenges. After eight intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournament.

Led by coaches Heather Travers, Maurice Rizcallah, Diane Mackenzie, Shelly Tulloch and Maria MacDonald these teams designed and programed robots to compete in challenges at the FLL Food Factor Robotics Competition at Acadia last week-end.

Teams also had to complete a field project about a food contamination problem and came up with many problems that effect consumer safety. The teams researched listeria contamination of cantaloupe, safe milk handling at schools, and myths around proper chicken handling procedures to devise new and innovative solutions to each of these problems.

Each of the teams have done research, interviewed experts, conducted surveys, and came up with a solution that would keep Canadians safer from food contamination.

“This will help reduce the number of foodborne illnesses, making our food safer, and our community healthier!” chant the team members in unison. FLL has attracted 146,000 children, ages 9 to 14, in more than 50 countries to explore robotics solutions to issues in food contamination through “Food Factor,” a three-part Challenge.

In the Project phase of the Challenge, teams explore an actual problem that today’s scientists and engineers are trying to solve, develop an innovative solution to that problem, and share their findings. In the Robot Game teams build and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology to score points in 2.5-minute matches on a themed playing field.

The FLL Core Values are the fundamental elements that distinguish FLL from other programs of its kind. Participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.

The teams have also gone on to enter their innovative solutions in The FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award which is designed to encourage and assist FLL teams to further develop their innovative solutions to real-world problems.

One FLL team will win the expenses associated with a patent to take their food safety invention to the next level. Falcon Academy has two of six Canadian entries in this global contest with on-line voting currently underway at www.fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org.

Currently in its twelfth year, FIRST LEGO League anticipates its biggest season ever, with more than 170,000 children in more than 50 countries competing in hundreds of Qualifying Tournaments and Championship Tournaments.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering.

With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year olds.

To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org. To learn more about next year’s “Senior Solutions” Challenge or to find out how to get involved in FIRST LEGO League, go to www.FIRSTLEGOLeague.org.

Source: http://www.bedfordbeacon.com/bedford-teams-win-big-at-acadia-robotics-tournament

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