MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by Lake Superior State University)

SAULT STE. MARIE: Lego robots battled it out during the Seventh Annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournament hosted November 21 at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie.

This year’s competition theme was Trash Trek, a springboard to consider all manifestations of trash—from food to electronics to hazardous waste—and how planning, recycling, and technology can manage it. Students worked to find a solution to help our trash problem and create their own LEGO MINDSTORMS® robot to accomplish trash-themed “missions.” Elementary and middle school teams from the eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Michigan entered handcrafted Lego creations, which had to use optical and mechanical sensors to steer themselves through the obstacle course.

Petoskey #2 took the tournament championship, but not before Washington school bettered them in the tabletop track competition. Downstate teams included the Raydernators from Charlevoix, plus the two-colored “L4s” from Petoskey. Representing the eastern Upper Peninsula were Washington Battery Bashers (Sault), St. Mary’s Somos Enfeugo (Sault), the Lake-n-nators from Mackinac Island, and Les Cheneaux’s Younger Yooper Troopers (Cedarville). LSSU’s student chapter of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers successfully pulled together a robot entry assembled the night before.

This year’s judges included the DNR’s Theresa Neal, the head interpreter at Tahquamenon State Park; head LSSU softball coach Lori Shimasaki; LSSU environmental science professor Megan Kelly; and Lindsay Maynard with LSSU’s Foundation. Students, faculty, and staff from LSSU’s education, engineering, geology, and business and economics academic departments joined with Sault Area Schools to provide volunteer technicians and assistants. LSSULegoTourney6939

St. Mary’s Somos Enfeugo, from Sault Ste. Marie, earned the second-place tournament honors to advance to the Michigan FLL North and West Championship, being held December 12 in Flint, Michigan.

FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournament Results:

Core Values: #21767 Radyernators from Charlevoix (rookie team); Teamwork: #11150 Somos Enfeugo from St. Mary’s School in Sault Ste. Marie; Project Innovation: #20432 Younger Yooper Troopers from Les Cheneaux Community Schools, Cedarville; Project Presentation: #21063 Lake-n-ators from Mackinac Island; Robot Design: #9348 Lakeside Legends of the LEGO League (L4) Petoskey #1; Robot Performance: #4931 Battery Bashers from Washington Elementary, Sault Ste. Marie.

Advancing teams, Champion: #9669 Lakeside Legends of the LEGO League (L4) Petoskey #2; Second Place: #11150 Somos Enfeugo, St. Mary’s School, Sault Ste. Marie.

Highest Scores, Practice Run: 455 points, #4931 Battery Bashers from Washington Elementary, Sault Ste. Marie; Performance Run: 407 points, #4931 Battery Bashers from Washington Elementary, Sault Ste. Marie.

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Photo(s) by John Shibley