In its second year of competing, HMX Roaring Robots, made up of students from Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont, walked away with a first-place trophy in the Core Values category at the Hudson Valley FIRST Lego League robotics competition in Chappaqua.
Each year, thousands of teams from all over the world compete in FIRST Lego League competitions, completing work in three judged categories: The Robot Games (robot building and programming), The Project (identifying and solving a problem through innovation), and Core Values (adhering to a set of defined values, rules, and conduct). HMX, which is sponsored and led by the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck, consists of two squads that worked side by side in Coopertition®—defined by the FIRST organization as “unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition”—advising, consulting with, and supporting each other while building individual projects.
In line with the theme of Animal Allies, the teams were tasked with finding innovative solutions to improve conditions for animals and the humans that interact with them. Squad 1 created K9 Camina, an app and computer game that encourages dog owners to give their pets more exercise, while Squad 2 designed Tortuga Dome, which shields baby sea turtles from the effects of human light pollution.
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“I am simply amazed by the work these kids do,” said Jill Bock, STEM Alliance volunteer and one of the team’s coaches, in a press release. “This competition tests their robotics skills and so much more—innovative problem solving, research, presentation abilities, sportsmanship, and collaboration. These are real life skills that help prepare them for high school, college, and beyond.”
For more information about the STEM Alliance and the programs it offers, visit lmstemalliance.org.
Main image: HMX Roaring Robots (from left: Coach Jill Bock, Sary Barrios, Rachel Patrick, Jake Blechman, Matthew Lewis, Jerry Orans, Cornelius Reavy, and Coach Stefan Birek) with their first place trophy for Core Values
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