All four lower school robotics teams from the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach and Whitehurst campuses received top qualifying event honors and advanced to regionals during the FIRST LEGO League Northeast Florida competition recently.
Teams were divided into separate qualifiers bearing names from “Star Wars,” which is a sponsor of FIRST LEGO League Replay this year.
The Whitehurst grade four team, Savage Unknown Power (‘SUP), for example, was in the Tauntaun race qualifier. That team won top honors for their robot design presentation.
The Whitehurst grade five team, Gigaflops, competed in the Kessel Run qualifier. They won top honors for their project presentation. Both Whitehurst teams moved on to regionals.
The Ponte Vedra Beach Campus grade four Future Bolles Innovators (FBI) team won the Innovation Project Award for their qualifier and are moving on to regionals. The Ponte Vedra Beach Campus grade five Council of Intellectual Aliens (CIA) team won the Rising All Star Award and is moving on in the competition at regionals.
The FBI team has been working hard to redesign the flags commonly used in flag football so individuals in wheelchairs can have an easier time playing flag football without the traditional clip on the belt digging into their back, according to Coach Andrew Nation.
“Their prototypes were economical, produced using duct tape and Velcro,” Nation said. “Their prototypes were sent over to Brooks Adaptive Sports, where their younger wheelchair basketball team played sharks and minnows using the flags.”
The next set of projects, robot design, core values and robot game videos, must be submitted this week, according to Whitehurst coach Beth Zerkowski. Judging for regionals begins in June. The top teams from regionals will move on to the state competition this summer.
The Whitehurst teams are coached by Zerkowski and Jennifer Moore. The Ponte Vedra Beach teams are coached by Nation and Carolyn Houston.
Student team members include:
FBI: Archer Brinson, Dalton Claudio, Fletcher DePuy, Camden Hendershot, Nathan Levinson, Liam Mumford, Alexis Rubin, Jessica Rubin, May Strain and Aidan Wallace.
CIA: Noel DePuy, Ben Hargreaves, Ella Cate Merritt, Will Moffett, Reid Moscarillo, Peyton Olson, Raphael Park, Lilybeth Posick, Thomas Rueger, Anya Shetty, Rohit Singh and Andrew Winter.
Team 'SUP: Sammy Benitez, Ronald Crawford, Jake Cumber, Sona Deshmukh, Parker Owens, Riley Powell, Cole Sandifer, Jane Shad, Jimmy Sterling and Liam Sumner.
Gigaflops: Ben DeAlexandris, Kate DeAlexandris, Dylan Downer, Nikhil Patel, Kaia Roychowdhury, Amal Shaik, Adi Yadav and Aariz Zuberi.