Thursday, January 15, 2009

The NC Rookie Challenge

The NC State tournament was actually two tournaments: the NC State Championship and the NC State Rookie Challenge. In the NC State Rookie Challenge, only rookie teams could win. The NC State Championship was held in December while the Rookie Challenge was held January 10th. We volunteered to help out with the second tournament since we could not compete in it and frankly, we still haven't gotten enough of First Lego League.

We saw some very impressive rookie teams including The Barracudas, a team that built a folk lift robot, and won 1st place for their Innovative Design. It was unlike any other robot that we have ever seen. Clark noticed it first and said “Wow – I don’t think that we could have built something like that our first year!”

Another rookie team, Mechanical Mayhem, pulled a 235 on the robot challenge. They were a home schooled team and we asked Coach Brown (of the Spacebots) about how much time they had put into getting such a high score (and learning NXT/G). He said, “Probably as much time as you did.” They won two trophies (Robot Performance and Robot Quality) their first year! Unreal! I know it is the rookie challenge but they could have gotten third place on the table with that score in the State Championship! How about that?

Another impressive rookie team was The Charlie Bytes. We had talked to them about possibly helping them out during the season as they said that they felt that they were having trouble. We could never find a time that worked out. No trouble there except for other teams! They won a first place trophy.

Finally, we met Chris of the Magellan Mariners (see Brush with Greatness) who had a video clip of our team and his in the alliance round on his phone. We were soooo small!

Marie Hopper and Tom Settle did a great job organizing this tournament! They have definitely become new friends of the Microbots. What a great day we had! Tad said, “I want to volunteer to help out with the Rookie Challenge again next year!”

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