Lego Robotics League
December 3rd marked the second straight year that the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club competed in the FIRST LEGO League qualifiers in Worcester, MA. Our NBGC RoboWhalers LEGO Robotics team, Annie, Charlotte, Dakara, Danny, Olivia, Rocky, Shayquan, and Siena, traveled to the qualifier at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where they competed against 34 other teams in the HYDRO DYNAMICS competition.
Once there, they were judged on their teamwork, the code they wrote to guide the robot, and their project: an innovative solution to this year's challenge: to improve the way people find, transport, use, or dispose of water. Our members' idea was to develop a more eco-friendly alternative to sanitary wipes, which currently jam up sewers and water treatment plants everywhere, causing blockages and costly cleanups. Their solution was to create a prototype cleansing spray that can be applied to toilet paper and perform the same task, but also break down once flushed. They presented a slideshow and demonstrated their product to the judges (on one of their computers, don't worry).
Around the judging sessions, over the course of several hours, our team competed in five heats where they navigated their robot around a table with obstacles they must avoid and missions they must accomplish in order to score points. In our fifth and final heat of the competition Rocky and Danny were able to post our best score of the day. The score they earned of 75 points was good enough to place 13th out of the 35 teams competing, a huge improvement over last year's performance of 23rd out of 30!
The day finished off with the Closing Ceremony, where the awards are given. Our team left it all out on the field and were pleasantly surprised to be presented with the Award for Strategy and Innovation, our first ever award and a huge testament to the hard work and ingenuity displayed in the programming of our robot. It was a great way to cap off the 2017 year for our LEGO Robotics program, and also a great foundation for the future. Seven of our eight members are in fifth grade or under, so, in a league where children may participate until eighth grade, the future of our NBGC RoboWhalers is looking bright!
Thank you to our amazing coaches Hugh Robbins and Danny Kurash.
Christine and Shantoi, two of our amazing staff at the Club have been running Triple Play this year. Triple Play is a national program through the Boys & Girls Club of America and it teaches members about healthy habits. Here is an update from Christine and Shantoi:
The kids have been really excited and involved this year and we have a lot going on. We've started off the year with fitness trials, keeping track of and encouraging their improvement every week. We've also been focusing on community service with the kids taking a lead role in running the projects. They include a healthy snack bake sale to profit Inky Santa as well as making ornaments to benefit Sailing Stork. As for health and nutrition, the kids have been taking a lot from the MyPlate program. With the kids taking more of a leadership role in the Triple Play Club, we've seen some of them truly shine and become great role models for their peers.
The My.Future programming is continuing to be a success at the club. The members who have been actively engaging in this have learned everything from the importance of digital safety and online privacy, to understanding binary digit and text compression as they relate to computer programming.
The computer lab is becoming more of a learning hub for our members as our computer lab coordinator is keeping the club, and our members, at the forefront of the latest technology. Some of the activities that Hugh has lined up for the kids at the start of 2018 include: computer coding, system programming, robotics, application design and development stages, plus much more!
Now that football season is over, the
Games Room is especially busy! More than 60 members use the
Games Room each day. There are a variety of tournaments going on in this exciting area of the club. The tournaments include carpet ball, bumper pool, foosball, air hockey, and many more. Members not participating in the tournaments are able to play chess, checkers, ping pong, and numerous board games.
The Art Room has been busy with members making friendship bracelets for the Club's Christmas tree downtown. The NBGC tree received the Chamber of Commerce 3rd place prize in the youth category. Next time you're in town, stop by and see the wonderful work they created!
Members are continuing to learn about fabric printing and sewing as well as playing book BINGO once a week.
The teen room participated in a November Lifeline tournament. Congratulations to Marc-Anthony for taking home the 1st place prize. He was rewarded with a Stop & Shop gift card.
Culinary Club continues to be a big hit! Our 6th grader members are able to attend Culinary Club on Mondays and members in 7th grade and older attend on Wednesdays. The Culinary Club has been cooking up some delicious treats including chicken quesadillas, frittatas with cheese, egg, ham, and vegetables, and ice-cream cone cupcakes.
The Teen Room just purchased an exciting new X-Box app called Jackbox TV Party Pack 4. It is a compilation of 6 different games. The teens use their phones to answer questions and vote while mixing technology with peer comradery.