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Meadow Glen Middle School Robotics Teams win at State Championship

Lexington, SC – (05/10/2021 Paul Kirby) – Students from Lexington School District One’s Meadow Glen Middle School recently earned top awards in the 2021 FIRST LEGO League Challenge Middle School State Championship. Two teams from the school, the RoboGators and the Swamp Bots, competed and won first place in different categories. A third team, the Gator Gears, won first place in the Overall State Champion category.

The RoboGators claimed first place in the Robot Game category. In this category, the teamwork through a preparation phase where they design and program a robot based on the LEGO MINDSTORMS system (RCX, NXT, EV3, Robot Inventor) or LEGO SPIKE Prime. The task of the robot is to solve as many missions on the Challenge playing mat autonomously as possible and to collect points.

During the Robot Games tournament, two game tables are always placed next to each other with the starting zones diagonally opposite the other team’s station. This means that two teams compete in a match at the same time. When it's a team's turn, the two team members who operate the robot at the table have to go to the tournament table. The rest of the team stays in the spectator area. At the tournament table the referees have the responsibility, and the team members follow the instructions of the referees as each bot is put through its paces by the team’s members.

Each team goes through several rounds that eliminate others. The winner of the category "Robot Game" is the team that can achieve the most points in the two rounds of the final.

The Swamp Bots took home first place in the Robot Design category. Before a team’s robot can solve the Robot Game tasks, they must build and program the robot. They collect ideas for the construction of the robot and create several concepts for the robot's base and attachments. Then, they plan and build several prototypes to try out different ideas. Then they implement the best ideas for the actual robot.

The members of the team must also prepare an oral explanation about the construction, programming, and strategy of their robot. The explanation allows the judges to learn about the construction process or what the team is most proud of in the robot. Teams can also explain if there are parts that need improvement. At some tournaments, you can also show the jury a trial run of the team’s robot on the Challenge field.

Gator Gears won first place in the Overall State Champion category. This trophy is given for the overall success of the team and for the implementation of the FIRST LEGO League Challenge values. It includes the four core elements of the competition: Robot Game, Research, Robot Design and Core Values. All categories are counted equally into the overall ranking.

Watch to learn how the students create and operate the robots by following this link to their YouTube video. You can see more videos and find additional information about the FIRST LEGO League Challenge by going to their website with this link.

See the Lexington One students as they talk about and explain their robots in this video.


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