Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There is nothing micro about these bots

We went to the First LEGO® League United States Open Championship in Dayton and we had a blast! We all got into the "busmobile" and drove up with Joe Meno on Wednesday. There was a huge Gameboy battle going on in the car as we all joined in and played. Once we got to the hotel, we went swimming and then to bed.

Thursday began with a practice in a conference room. We hadn't finished our second run and so we worked on it quite a bit. In the afternoon, we went to the Air Force Museum and saw the big airplanes. After a movie at the Imax, we went back to work practicing our runs. We were trying to get a 400!

On Friday, we were all tired from staying up way too late but we had to do our interviews. The research interview is our best so it was great that it was first. We thought that we did quite well and it gave us a lot of energy for the next one, the technical interview. We were happy with that one too. Finally, we had the teamwork interview and it was great too! Back to work on our runs.

On Friday night, we met with our alliance partners. We were all so tired and so we pretty much went to bed and let Rebekah organize the alliance runs. She worked with our two younger partners and really showed how we work. Clark and Benjamin went up to the rooms and got Mohawks to show their team spirit! We had to be our best for the runs on Saturday.

Our first run was 105 and it was great! We were getting 40s in practice so maybe we just set a low bar. The judges were very precise about the scoring rules so points were tougher to get. More work and the next run was 210. What an improvement! Our third run was a disappointing 150. It was ok though, we never gave up! Patrick gave it everything that he had to get Joe (our robot) back on track.

Finally, it was time for the awards. All the research awards were given out and we didn't win one. They were down to two categories, teamwork and overall.

"This home school team might not be large in numbers, but their team strength is not micro. Their vacuum cleaner team activity even passed dust particles from member to member. Team work demonstrated fluid movements with high energy with little effort."

We knew when they talked about our vaccuum cleaner (this was our team project) that we had gotten first place in the teamwork category! It was great! What a terrific end to the season!

It was a great tournament! We felt that it was our responsibility to represent our state the best that we could through gracious professionalism. We also wanted to get a 400. We did get our 400, not on the table, but in the teamwork. There isn't a better 400 than that!

The tournament was so well run and organized! Thank you Kathy Levine and Joe Meno! Thank you to our alliance partners! Thanks to all of the teams and staff that made this so memorable!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Go Big Red

We enjoyed spending time at the U.S. Open National Championship with our alliance partners, the Lightning Stars(Omaha, NE) and the Wagga Wagga Warriors(Oak Ridge, TN). We learned so much from you and you both define the spirit of gracious professionalism! Thank you so much for cheering for us and coming over to see us after the awards! You are truly great teams! Please keep in touch!

Go Big Red!

Your friends,
The Microbots
(Rebekah, Zach, Patrick, Benjamin, Clark, and Tad)
PS Thank you Magellan Mariners for teaching us (during our first year) the right way to run an alliance round. We didn't win but we had more fun than any other alliance partnership. We hope that we correctly passed on the lesson to our alliance partners.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Representing North Carolina

Perhaps nothing is more wonderful than receiving the support of our fellow FLL teams from North Carolina. We are heading to Dayton in three days and several teams from our state sent us emails wishing us luck! We thank them for all of their kind words and for taking the moment to wish us well. They truly define gracious professionalism and the FLL values! We would not be the team that we are if it were not for the excellence of our peers in NC. Thank you again for setting such a great example and for the friendly competition and cooperation. You have made the 2008-2009 FLL season stellar!

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Go get 'em Microbots!

Thanks for the update, Mike. We'll be praying not only that you represent NC well, but especially bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ in how you conduct yourselves.

In His service,

Ken - Techno Alliance

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Good Luck to the Microbots at the U.S. Open National Championship! It sounds like your hard work and determination have paid off! We're proud to have you represent NC! Have a fun and safe trip!

Mayberry Maniacs I and II
Karen T. Hodges, Coach
J. Sam Gentry Middle School
Mount Airy, NC

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On behalf of the Terminators, the SmartBots, and We the People, and all of us FLL-types at the Scholars' Academy, good luck to the Microbots.

************ ********* ********* ********* *****
David Johnston
Technology Administrator
Metrolina Regional Scholars' Academy

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Good luck from the Magellan Mariners! Be sure to send some photo and place you 400 on YouTube! The kids (and many others) would love to see it.

Best of luck,
Your Magellan Mariner Friends
Al, Eric, Chris and the rest of the gang.

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And have FUN! What a great finale for your team!! NC is behind you every LEGO brick of the way : )

Keeps us posted on how it all transpires!
Marie Hopper

Friday, May 1, 2009