Proving that keen intellect, hard work and preparation really do pay off, members of the Hampton Bays Middle School Robotics Team recently competed in the first-ever Lego League Qualifying Tournament, earning second place in the category of Gracious Professionalism. A win at the tournament, held on January 28 in Massapequa, guarantees that the team will move on to the championship round on March 4 at Longwood High School.
More than 70 teams competed at the tournament, where the theme for the inaugural competition was “Food Safety.” Using Lego products to build a variety of food safety applications, including retrieving adult fish while leaving the spawn behind to repopulate the supply, and germ removal from their “field,” members of the Robotics Club worked tirelessly on their projects for several months before the final competition—accomplishing multiple missions during the actual competition in the allotted span of two-and-a-half minutes before the judges.
According to Hampton Bays Middle School Robotics Team co-advisor Matt Balistreri, the project was an exercise in team building and applying concepts learned in science, technology, engineering and math. Co-advisor Amanda Heenan added that important life lessons were also learned by the team members, particularly teamwork, ingenuity, invention and trial and error. “It was about the learning process and being the best we can be,” Ms. Heenan said during a team meeting on February 3.
Robotics Club members Todd Anderson and Matt Zbikowski, the unofficial team leaders, said that working together as a team on the research and implementation proved to be a challenging and rewarding experience for all. They added that the group is excited to continue their work while preparing for the finals on March 4.