On Saturday, Dec. 15 the LigerBots hosted the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Eastern Massachusetts Championship. In addition to competing in LEGO robot matches, 48 FLL teams from eastern Massachusetts presented their projects on this year’s outer-space theme,“Into Orbit.” The event also featured 10 FLL Jr. teams who presented their projects on this year’s FLL Jr. outer-space based theme, “Mission Moon.” More than 1100 people attended, including teams and members of the public.
Accompanying the tournament was a maker fair featuring hands on activities from the Brandeis Maker Lab, Code Ninjas, Newton Free Library, Einstein’s Workshop, Empow Studios, Gamewright, Hatch Makerspace, Johnson String Instrument, Kevin Osborn, Maker, Massachusetts National Guard and Students for a Greener World. People dressed in Star Wars storm trooper costumes circulated and posed for photographs.
The maker fair was attended by 70 Newton Girl Scouts and served as their 2018 STEAM Workshop. The scouts earned their STEAM patch by participating in Ligerbots-sponsored activities, as well as those of other makers.
LigerBots offered many of our own hands-on STEAM activities, including conductive doughs, 3D printing, button making, paper airplanes, origami, brush bots, PB&J Robot, and binary beads. Our newly introduced slime activity proved to be extremely popular with our young visitors.
Two FIRST Robotics teams, 1058 PVC Pirates and 4048 Redshift, joined the LigerBots in a robot “zoo” that encouraged young visitors to touch and drive the robots. The LigerBots set up our 2018 competition pit to display our outreach materials and our team sponsors.
In addition to running our own STEAM activity tables at the maker fair, LigerBots filled many roles at the event, as they did at the FLL Newton Qualifier in November. Our team members, alumni and mentors helped organize the event, did setup and breakdown, acted as referees, competition field resetters, DJs, announcers, AV specialists, food concessionaires, guides, and photographers.
We were grateful to have staffing help from the Newton South High School Science Team and the Newton North High School Computer Programming Club, as well as from Amit, team captain of Israeli FRC team 6740 Glue Gun and Glitter, who has been a visitor to LigerBots activities throughout most of the month of December.
After we returned Newton North High School to its original, spotless condition after the championship, LigerBots gathered at the home of our COO, Jordan, to have a game and movie night.
Every year our FLL events get bigger and better. We can’t wait to do it again next fall! To see more photos from this year’s FLL championship, please visit our Flickr album devoted to the event.