Last Saturday, November 18 at Newton North High School, the LigerBots hosted the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Newton Qualifier, a competition using LEGO robots built by elementary and middle schoolers passionate about robotics. The LigerBots have hosted FLL tournaments since 2008, and the team was excited to continue hosting in 2023. LEGOs and robots in every corner of the building, booming voices of the MC announcing matches, 14 FLL teams, and 70 LigerBot students working hard to run this show certainly made Newton North very lively last Saturday. FLL team projects on this year’s FIRST theme of the arts filled the cafeteria.
The LigerBots set up a booth on Newton North’s Main Street corridor, showcasing their 2022 competition robot, and two hands-on STEAM activities: making custom buttons and origami pieces. The kids enjoyed interacting with the robot, a machine that could shoot giant tennis balls for them to catch, and overall it was a great way to entertain the attendees with STEAM demonstrations.
The qualifier concluded with an awards ceremony and a fun dance party. All four teams from Newton received an award: Cookie Coders (Innovation Project first place), Voltage (Innovation Project second place), New England Code Crackers (Core Values first place) and The First Layer (Judges Award).
Of the 14 FLL teams that attended, six teams advanced to the state finals: 52042 Goofy Gyros, 52438 Mechanical Madness, 55783 Cookie Coders, 56378 New England Code Crackers, 57499 Acton Avengers, and 60562 The Mind Coders. Two of these teams are from Newton, the Cookie Coders and New England Code Crackers. These teams will compete at the upcoming Massachusetts FLL Championship which will be divided between competitions at WPI and at Newton North.
If you thought last weekend was fun, come visit us on December 16th from 9am-4pm, for the MA FLL Championship at Newton North High School, also run by the LigerBots. Come watch the 48 FLL teams compete head-to-head and check out our STEAM Expo, run alongside the competition. At the STEAM Expo, from 10am-3pm, kids and attendees have the opportunity to engage in a large variety of hands-on STEAM activities, explore a number of local organizations’ booths, and interact with bigger robots from FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge. This event is free and open to the public!