Droids, LEGOs and Robots, Oh My!
On Saturday, December 16, Newton’s dual-high-school robotics team, the LigerBots hosted the Massachusetts East State Championship FIRST LEGO League (FLL) tournament at Newton North High School along with a STEAM Expo featuring exhibitors such as:
Society of Women engineers, who showed kids how to build an LED light;
The 501st Legion, who all came in their Star Wars costumes and showed off their droids; and
Johnson String Instruments, who demonstrated the math behind music.
STEAM Expo activities
A total of 48 FIRST Lego League (FLL) Competition teams had qualified to compete in this State Championship. After a full day of head-to-head competition, presentations, and STEAM activities, the Goofy Gyros FLL team from Ashland won 1st place, and Newton’s own New England Code Crackers came in 2nd. Newton’s Tie-Dye Chickens won 3rd place in Core Values. Other Newton teams participating in the State Championship included the Cookie Coders and The First Layer. Ligerbots adult mentor Diane Levy was recognized with FLL’s prestigious volunteer award for everything she did to organize the whole event.
Ashland’s Goofy Gyros won 1st place, and Newton’s New England Code Crackers won 2nd.
Honored guests included U.S. Congressman, Jake Auchincloss, who came with his whole family. and the Chief Operating officer of FIRST, Chris Rake.
Many adult volunteers served as facilitators, coaches, and judges for the competition. City Councilor Julia Malakie and Councilor-Elect Rena Getz volunteered as judges, and Councilors Tarik Lucas and John Oliver, along with Councilor-Elect Martha Bixby, also came to check out all the work that LigerBots do to promote and facilitate STEAM education.
Volunteer judges for FLL State Championship
Three Girl Scout Brownie Troops came, earned STEAM patches, and worked on their STEAM TryIts at our Expo. There was much more community participation as visiting FIRST Robotics teams like Record Robotics and the Lobstah Bot helped out and some LigerBots Alumni came back to help out.
Greer Tan Swiston is a volunteer mentor for the LigerBots.