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Jefferson Middle School Robotics Teams Qualify for Championship Tournament

courtesy photo from Jefferson Middle School

by Mrs. Avakia

San Gabriel

Robotics teams, Catching Fire and 10.0, at Jefferson Middle School have been busy programming robots and preparing for their regional competitions.  The teams designed and built versatile Lego robots to complete several tasks/missions prescribed by First Lego League. In the 2013 Nature’s Fury challenge, teams were to research and discover best possible ways to prepare, stay safe, and rebuild in case of major natural disasters.
In one task, for example, the robot has to gather a scattered family (made of Lego pieces) to a safe place and reunite them.  Another task involves saving a supply truck left in the middle of a road and transferring it to a safe corner. Every student on the team gets to program and re-evaluate based on the desired outcome.
In addition, the teams conducted research to find solutions to natural disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes.  Both teams visited the Angeles National Forest headquarters and met a JMS alumnus, Firefighter Ryan Carey.  He graciously shared about strategies and technology they use to fight wildfires on a day-to-day basis.
The students also visited Caltech’s Seismological Lab, where they learned how seismic waves are detected, the location of the major faults, and how to stay safe during an actual quake.
Robotics teams spent countless hours after school to prepare for their tournaments, in La Canada and the city of Orange. Both teams won trophies at these events and finished in the top 25% among several teams from southern California. In addition, Catching Fire won the Champion’s Award for receiving overall high scores in every area of judging. Both teams qualified to advance to the Championship Tournament that will be held at LEGOLAND on Sunday December 8, 2013.
Robotics Coaches: Mrs. Avakian, Ms. Tom, and Mr. Ayad

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