East Syracuse The Minoa Mindstormers Robotics team recently placed in the top 10 at the FIRST LEGO League tournament in Rome. The team qualified to move on to the regional championships at the SUNY Institute of Technology Utica/Rome on Saturday, Dec. 1.
East Syracuse Minoa was among 22 local teams of students ranging from 9 to 14 years old that competed in different science and technology challenges. Competing team members included Toby Buecheler, Amber Cardarelli, Faith Coolbeth, Matthew Krusse, Casey McGlynn and Emma Wilson from Minoa Elementary and Christine Andrews, Hannah Caccamo, Autumn Cardarelli and Andrew Wilson from Pine Grove Middle School. Teams could have up to 10 members.
The students had eight weeks to prepare, working with adult mentors to design, build and program autonomous robots using LEGO Mindstorm kits and also to create an innovative solution to a problem as part of a research project.
The robots had to be programmed to perform a series of missions on an obstacle course. Another part of this year’s challenge was called Senior Solutions, where students had to work on a project to improve the quality of life for senior citizens, helping them continue to be independent, engaged and connected in their communities.
The Minoa Mindstormers researched their project by interviewing local senior citizens. They created an invention called the “Foodo” which is a pet care feeding system to organize and help remind the aging population to feed their pets so they can remain independent in their homes.
The competition was judged in four areas: project presentation, robot performance, technical design/programming of the robot and teamwork. The Minoa team received a trophy and medallions for each team member to commemorate their achievement.
The team is coached by Minoa Elementary teacher Becky Loy, East Syracuse Elementary teaching assistant Windy Cardarelli and parent Loral Wilson.
The Regional Championship on Dec. 1 will feature 24 teams from across Central New York that will demonstrate problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and a sense of community.
More than 200,000 kids from more than 60 countries are expected to participate in the FIRST LEGO League competitions.