Congratulations and Happy New Year to Peter Carosa, a 7th grader at the Honeoye Falls-Lima Middle School in Western New York who recently e-mailed me regarding his role as member of Gearfreeze, the robotics team which won the regional championship of the fifth annual Finger Lakes FIRST LEGO League Tournament hosted by the University of Rochester on December 6th, 2009. FIRST is the acronym For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.
Thirty six teams of children ages 9 to 14 competed with robots that they designed and built out of LEGO.
For the competition, each team designed a robot out of the classic plastic building blocks and performed a variety of tasks such as navigating to difficult-to-access places and retrieving objects in a 4-by-8-foot arena speckled with obstacles.
In addition to the robotic portion of the contest, the team gave a presentation, on the year’s theme: transportation. The contestants were asked to pick a real-world transportation challenge, research it, and draw up a poster, skit, or other demonstration. Peter describes his team’s presentation:
“Our project is that GM fuel cell cars produce H2O in a warm gas and liquid form and emits it. This can cause black ice, because of our climate, and pot holes. This will cause accidents. So my idea during one of our brain storms was to make a pumping system to pump the water emissions to the windshield wiper reservoir.”
The 36 teams which qualified to compete at the regional contest at the University of Rochester, first had to prove their engineering and communication prowess at one of six preliminary qualifying events at different locations around Western New York, where the field was winnowed down from a pool of more than 100 teams.
As winners at the regional championship they will travel to Atlanta, Georgia in April 2010 for the World Festival, where they will meet teams from more than 50 countries. Good Luck to Peter and his team!