Statewide FIRST® LEGO League Championship was held at Dimond High School
Earlier this month, sixty teams of elementary and middle school students from around the state met at Dimond High School for the Alaska Robot Rendezvous, a
® LEGO® League Invitational Championship Tournament.
It was a celebration that was about more than robots; it was about inspiring students to create awesome solutions to real world challenges. Kids showed their programming, engineering and math skills by building autonomous robots to perform specific missions. All FLL Challenges are based on a current topic that is universally relevant. In this year's HydroDynamics Challenge, teams explored the topic of water and developed innovative solutions to issues related to water. Many team solutions have already been implemented around the state. Ideas ranged from using drones to map out small ponds and water sources for testing as drinkable water sources on the tundra to creating affordable, aesthetically---pleasing, free---standing water catchment and filtration systems for highway rest areas and trailheads. Teams have also learned and practiced FIRST® LEGO® League's Core Values, which include treating others with respect, finding answers on your own, and having fun while you're doing it.
The communities represented at the tournament included Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Big Lake, Fairbanks, Girdwood, Homer, Juneau, Kaktovik, Kenai, Kodiak, Moose Pass, Palmer, Point Hope, Point Lay, Seward, Skagway, Tok, Wainwright, and Wasilla. Thanks to support from GCI, this year's competition will also include 4 teams participating via video teleconference from Adak, Unalakleet, Glenallen, and Valdez. Sixteen Anchorage--- based FIRST LEGO League Jr teams (ages 6---9) will also hold an expo from 11AM - 1PM to showcase their work on this year's Aqua Adventures Challenge.
Champions Award 1st place (top honor at the competition) went to the TMS Chinooks from Teeland Middle School in Wasilla. They will represent Alaska at the FIRST World Championship in Houston, TX in April. Second place went to the Aurora Polar Bears from the Aurora Borealis Charter School in Kenai. The Polar Bears will represent Alaska at the FIRST LEGO League LEGOLAND California International Open in Carlsbad, CA in May. Happy Dave, a homeschool team from Juneau, was selected as the top innovation solution to this year's Hydrodynamics challenge. Happy Dave will participate in JEDC's innovative summit and continue to develop their solution and develop their application for the Global Innovation Award offered by XPrize.
® activities in Alaska are coordinated by the Juneau Economic Development Council
with statewide funding from BP, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Communications, and GCI and in---kind support from the UAA School of Engineering. Local sponsorships are also essential for the success of each tournament.