This year we sponsored the Portland based Port Bots Lego Robotics Team.
The team was open to children ages 9-13 who wished to spend 3-6 hours a week working on Lego robotics and teamwork. While initially we thought we would have 8 kids, however, eventually the team resolved its self to just these three dedicated young men. (Which it turned out was great for me, a first year coach who was really trying to get his feet under himself). The kids spent the summer memorizing digits of PI and collecting pledges of support for each digit they could memorize. They were able to raise almost $700.00 among the three of them. Our highest number of digits memorized was 68. (3.14159265…)
The kids met at our house every Wednesday over the fall and on some weekends. At times teamwork was our biggest challenge, but eventually the kids all learned to work together and respect each other’s ideas. In December we went to Augusta to compete in the statewide First Lego League competition. The kids worked with a father of one of the members to design a logo for the team and the mother of another child hand made their lab coats. These coats got a lot of thumbs up. The simple programs the team worked out combined with their clean performance landed them in 5th place out of 78 teams. The excitement of making it into the quarter finals was wonderful.
While there was some disappointment in the end, about not actually winning the contest, we have discussed and debriefed and are more than happy with our 5th place finish. Not bad for our first year.