First Lego League Robotics Teams Compete

Foreign Language Academy and Lincoln College Prep compete against 39 teams


First Lego League (FLL) robotics teams from Foreign Language Academy and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy competed Saturday, Nov. 18 in an FLL qualifier at Summit Lakes Middle School in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

FLL teams are comprised of a team of students, traditionally from fourth through eighth grade, who are imaginative and enjoy a challenge. FLL teams research a real-world problem and are challenged to develop a solution. This year’s quest was Hydro Dynamics, challenging students to learn all about water – how we find, transport, use or dispose of it.

Guided by adult coaches, FLL teams design, build and program a robot to complete a set of missions and then compete on a table-top playing field. While having fun and building a culture of teamwork, students learn to apply science, technology, engineering and math concepts (STEM) while bringing out their creative side.

At this qualifier event, 39 teams competed for a top spot. With only 10 teams advancing to the Championship Tournament, competition was tough. Teams are judged on their presentation of FLL’s Core Values, their project research focused on water along with the robot design and its performance on the playing field.

The FLA Cyber Panthers team is coached by technology teacher Anke Hirsekorn.

The Lincoln Tigerbytes team is coached by math teacher Vanessa Harbin and science teacher Donna Hiatt. Their parent mentor is Scott Warren. The team was comprised of sixth through eighth grade students.

“Our programmers/engineers had to partially rebuild the robot and reprogram all of the challenges in the few hours between the score practice round in the morning and the afternoon competition rounds” Harbin Said. “The arm they built wasn’t regulation length and the lighting in the gym didn’t allow the color sensor to function properly. They did a fantastic job of rising to the challenge under the high-pressure time crunch to give us a respectable ranking in the final tally. We are very proud of their dedication, hard work and resiliency in the face of adversity.”

For more photos from Saturday’s competition, visit our Flickr account.