FLL 2013 – Natures Fury

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Thursday 5th December 2013 saw our regional final return to Temple Park Leisure Centre. This year nine teams were competing including one of our Sunderland partners Dame Dorothy Primary School back to join us for a second year. We also had a North Tyneside entrant this year, Monkseaton High School.

The theme for this year’s First Lego League tournament was Nature’s Fury. The missions in the robot game related to earthquakes, Tsunami waves and hurricanes.

Nature certainly didn’t disappoint us on the day. We had rain, snow, gale force winds and coastal flooding to contend with! Thankfully everybody arrived safely and the day passed without incident.

Each of the teams played four robot games out of which the top four highest scoring teams went through to the semi-finals.  Each of them then played two games, the top two scores taking their teams into the final itself.

The final robot game with Harton Helicopters v Cleadon Robo Rangers was a cliff hanger.  Despite gaining the highest score of the day of 142 in the semi-final, Cleadon were not able to hold off Harton. In the end it was Harton Helicopters who were the winners of the Robot Game.

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But that wasn’t the end to the awards.  The judges were most impressed with the innovative design and modifications of a number of robots. However, the award for Robot Design went to Cleadon Robo Rangers for their new EV3 Lego Robot with its well-designed attachments. The teams’ technical know-how with programming and strategy also impressed the judges.

The award for best Presentation went to Dame Dorothy Street Primary Techno Dotz, and their fabulous Hideaway Hut for Hounds (floating dog kennel). The video diary category demonstrated how much work teams had put in during the previous three months. For the first time we decided to award a trophy to this category and the winners were West Boldon Lego Legends.  The videos also helped us to judge the team work award. The award for Teamwork was swept up by Jarrow School and their team Jarrow Vikings.

The final award of the tournament was made to the team with the best overall performance.  This was extremely difficult as the competition was really tight between Harton Helicopters and Cleadon Robo Rangers.  After very detailed consideration of rankings in all of the competition elements, the team representing South Tyneside at the National Finals were finally chosen – Harton Helicopters.  Congratulations to all of the team, and good luck in January at Loughborough.

Many thanks go to all of the coaches who have worked extremely hard to give teams the time and support to enable them to programme the robots and present their projects.  The teams themselves also deserve big thanks for their enthusiasm and exemplary behaviour, which helped to make the day so enjoyable.  Thanks also go to all the judges and officials who gave up their time on the day to make it such a successful event.  Many thanks also to all the suppliers who supported our event – AT Computers, Oddizzi, Sherston Software, Kudlian Software, Castle Grange and The IET – we couldn’t have done it without you!

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We look forward to seeing you all for next year’s competition!