Remarkable Robotics Achievements
Friday 22 November, 2019
LEGO League Qualification for Nationals
The first Pymble FIRST Lego League (FLL) team, the Pymble Pigeons, has qualified for the Eastern Nationals in December – an amazing effort in what is a very competitive and long-standing competition.
The FIRST Lego League is Pymble’s entry event into the Robotics program and is the first taste of competition that the girls face. Recently, four Pymble Junior School teams competed in the Sydney Regional and Macquarie Regional at Macquarie University.
The Pymble Potatoes and Pymble Pizzas – two first-time Year 5 teams – competed, and the Potatoes had a dream first game, almost finishing one of the hardest missions on their first go and completing four out of five missions in a situation where completing two missions for a first-time team is seen as an achievement. The Pizzas completed three missions and impressively won a Strategy and Innovation award for their robot design and mission strategy.
The next day saw two Year 6 teams competing – the Pymble Bees and Pymble Pigeons – the Bees being a first-time team, bar one student. The Bees finished fifth in the Robot Game, running as high as second for a part of the day only to be dropped from third to fifth in the last couple of matches. They also produced an amazing project which won them an Innovative Solution award. A highlight for the team was a masterclass by Amy Zhang and Arana Roy in staying calm under pressure. Both our robot technicians managed to calmly troubleshoot a faulty gyroscope in the middle of a match, fix it and complete all their missions within the time limit and without penalty, while being under the spotlight in front of a crowded theatre. The judges were visibly impressed by the girls’ mettle.
The Pymble Pigeons produced the most amazing Robot Game on Sunday. Their diminutive, simple, but tightly engineered and cleverly coded robot went in and won the entire Robot Game, beating some mammoth robots built by a range of experienced senior students. The Pymble Pigeons had a brilliant start and went straight to second in the rankings in the morning with – at the time – a Pymble record score of 220 points. Soon after, in the second round, the Bees beat them with an impressive 230 points. Not content with their score, the Pigeons worked hard and adjusted their strategy throughout the day. In the final round, they had fallen to fifth place. The leading competitor team, with a seemingly unattainable 255 points, wowed the crowd as they aimed for 300 points in their final run. They were unsuccessful at this impressive task, however little did the crowd know in the excitement of this endeavour that the Pymble Pigeons were also on their final and ultimately best run. It wasn’t until their final score appeared on the screen that the crowd realised that with an impressive 280 points the Pymble Pigeons had taken an unassailable lead. Their little robot equipped with an attachment no more complicated than a lever managed to win the entire Robot Game. As a result, the Pymble Pigeons won the Robot Performance award and the Mechanical Design award. It is rare for a team to win two awards at an FLL tournament.
Even more amazingly, the Pymble Pigeons team qualified for Nationals in December and will compete against the best of the best in the Eastern States.
All teams were amazing all round and gave us a glimpse of some of the most fabulous young engineers to come. Considering that these girls are in Years 5 and 6 with at most two years’ experience, competing against teams with senior students who can have up to eight years’ experience, it’s a testament to their skill and teamwork.
VEX EDR Tournament 2
We had 11 robots competing in this tournament which was held on Saturday 16 November.
After some hard-fought competition, the Pymble Perytons won with their Alliance Captains Trinity College! The Four Legged Ducks received the Build Award and the Golden Flying Hippopotamuses of Destiny won the Excellence Award. The Pymble Pelicans received a Design Award. And the semi-finalists award went to Four Legged Ducks, System Overload, Pizza Peacocks and Flying Foxes. Pymble Scitobor won the Skills wildcard and the Tech Teacups were finalists. An amazing day!
FTC Skystone Qualifier
We had two teams competing in this competition, the Hedgehubs and the Grease Mankeys. After two days of competing, the Hedgehubs along with their Alliance partners Barker Greenbacks (Alliance captain) and Gong Invaders were knocked out in the finals while the Grease Mankeys were knocked out in the semi-finals with their Alliance captains Barker Greenbacks and Gong Invaders.
Congratulations to the Hedgehubs on receiving the Finalists Award and the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award and a place in the Nationals Competition.