On Monday, Dec. 1, two Cortez Lego Robotics teams scrimmaged against the other in a Lego robotics contest. The Girl Scouts, who were the champions at Core Values in last year’s competition, faced Cortez newcomers the Children’s Kiva Montessori School Lego Robotics Club (aka the Robo Hobo Cinnamon Rolls). This is the Kiva team’s first year, but they’re coming at the competition with lots of enthusiasm and all the technological resources of the Kiva to back them up.
The scrimmage helped prepare both Cortez teams for the Four Corners First Lego League Robotics Competition to be held in Durango on Saturday, Dec. 6 at Miller Middle School. Though both teams have been preparing for months, the scrimmage gave them a chance to work out their jitters and fine-tune ideas and game strategy in the spirit of “Coopertition” – the combination of “cooperation” and “competition.”
Last year, the league’s first all-girl team, the Mesa Verde Girl Scouts, walked away from their first competition with a first place in the Core Values category. This year, they hope to step up their game a bit with the knowledge that they gained from last year. The Kiva team has been putting in extra hours to make up the learning curve that they face in their first year.
The Four Corners First Lego League is being coordinated by the Durango Discovery Museum, also known as the Powerhouse Science Center (The POW) and encompasses all teams from the Four Corners region. Last year, there were only eight teams in the league. It has now grown in popularity to include 20 teams. If the teams place well enough at this championship, they could go on to the big Albuquerque championship.
There are three categories in the First Lego Leagues competition.
The first is the Project, in which the teams must come up with an innovative answer to the question of “What is a better way to learn (their team topic)?” The Girl Scouts have chosen music as their topic, and the Kiva Montessori School has chosen computer programming.
The second category is the Robot Game, in which the robots which are built with Legos and then programmed with a brick computer to complete various and complex missions on the game table. Points and penalties are assessed depending on how well the robot is programmed.
The last category is Core Values, which is basic team work and gracious professionalism amongst not only their own team but also with the competing teams.