On Saturday, January 13th, over 170 local students from 24 teams across 17 different elementary and middle schools participated in the Allegany County FIRST LEGO League Qualifier at Allegany College of Maryland. Approximately 60 volunteers and 300 spectators supported and cheered on the student competitors.
The event was organized by REACT, Robotics and Engineering in Allegany County Together. Key collaborators included Allegany County Public Schools and Allegany College of Maryland. Other supporters who provided help with volunteers and supplies include LaVale Lions Club, Hampton Inn, TC Energy, Appalachian Regional Commission, Sheetz, Queen City Creamery, IBM, and the Doug and Betsey Schwab Family Foundation
FIRST LEGO League provides students grades 4-8 with a hands-on, interactive robotics program in a sports-like atmosphere. Teams of up to 10 players develop their teamwork, problem solving, creativity, and analytical thinking skills during the season, which begins in August. At the qualifier, teams are evaluated on their robot’s performance and design, their research project, as well as their teamwork, decision-making, and communication skills.
Local teams worked hard to prepare for the qualifier and made an excellent showing. All students received medals for completing the season and competing at the qualifier, a huge accomplishment in this snow riddled winter. The highest scoring teams in the areas of robot game, robot design, core values, and research project won trophies. The top 5 teams overall earned a trip to the Maryland FLL State Championships, which will be held on Saturday, February 24th at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The championships will be streamed live beginning at noon. The five teams representing Allegany County at the state level are the Calvary Christian Academy 3-D Eagles, the West Side Elementary Thortles, the Braddock Middle Programming Porcupines, Calvary Christian Academy Ramped Up and Bishop Walsh Burgundy. Please visit reactallegany.org for more information about local robotics and FLL.