6 Piedmont robotics teams advance to Regional Championship

Posted on Nov 27, 2019

From the Piedmont Post November 27 issue:

Over the past three weekends, seventeen Piedmont FIRST LEGO League robotics teams have competed in local Qualifier Tournaments across the East Bay against other Bay Area teams. Six Piedmont teams finished at the top of their Qualifiers and advanced to the regional championship in January.

This season marks the third year of FIRST LEGO League in Piedmont as the town league has grown to 18 teams with 120 students participating. FIRST LEGO League is a global competition with 39,000 teams and 312,000 students across 4th-8th grades in over 100 countries. This year’s theme is CITY SHAPER where team explore, challenge, and innovate in their communities towards a stronger, more sustainable future—one that’s built better together

On November 10 at the Quarry Lane Qualifier in Dublin, the Technokitties, an all-girls team of Piedmont Middle School 7th Graders won the top Champions Award and qualified for the regional championship. The Boomin’ Buildin’ Busters, an all-boys team of Beach 5th graders, won the top Project award, Global Innovation award, and also advanced to the regional championship.

On Saturday November 16 at the Athenian School in Danville, the City Shifters, an all-girls team of 5th graders, placed third in the robot game, won the Global Innovation award, and will be advancing to the regional championship. The Metropolis Makers came in fourth in the robot game and won the Robot Design award.

Also on Saturday November 16 at Lowell High School In San Francisco, Apollo 11, an all-boys team of 7th graders, won the Champions Award and Robot Performance Award for top scoring robot at 300 points and will advance to the regional championship. Mini Fig Bars came in second in the robot game with three consistent runs with a top score of 275. Purple People for Piedmont also had a great showing across all four judged areas. At Mission San Jose Elementary in Fremont, Laser Catnado, Gum Drops, and Spookerville also competed.

At the Piedmont Qualifier Tournament on Sunday November 17 at Piedmont Middle School, six first year Piedmont teams competed against 10 other Bay Area teams including the California Buildin’ Bears, Pioneering Pandas, Bot Squad, and Shadow Shapers. The Raging Radishes achieves the 2nd highest game score of 345 points, and the Building Bananas advanced to the regional championship through balanced achievement across all dimensions.

Finally, on Saturday November 23, Team Uploading — a co-ed 6th grade team — participated in the Town School Qualifier Tournament in San Francisco and also advanced to the regional championship.

“Regardless of whether these kids grow up to be engineers, scientists (or, you name it), the experience and learning they get from participating in authentic and impactful experiences like this will serve them for their entire lives,” said Piedmont Middle School teacher Adam Saville, who served as a judge at the Piedmont Qualifier tournament.

FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the CITY SHAPER season, teams choose and solve a real-world problem in the Innovation Project. They also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams operate under the FIRST Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism.

The six advancing Piedmont teams will compete against thirty other elite teams at the East Bay Regional Championship on Sunday, January 12 at Mountain House High School. The winner of the regional championship will advance to the FIRST World Championship in April in Houston. For more information on Piedmont Makers robotics programs, please visit www.piedmontmakers.org/robotics.