TDSB teams were front at centre at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) East Provincial Championship at Durham College on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Several teams took home awards and three will now move on to showcase their work at the Ontario Innovation Celebration on February 25, 2018. Seven teams from the FLL East Ontario Championship qualified to join eleven others from across Ontario at this event. Three of the seven are TDSB entries: Team Poseidon from West Rouge Jr PS, MacMillan Firestorms from Sir Ernest MacMillan Sr PS, and The Walking Lead from Glen Ames Sr PS. The squad from Glen Ames also placed second overall in the Champions' award category, which qualifies them for international competition.
Luke Martin is a teacher at Glen Ames Sr PS and proud coach of the Beach-area school’s robotics team. “To even get invited to a provincial tournament is a big honour,” he said, “but to win the second highest trophy is something so rare.” The Champions' Award is the most prestigious honour provided by FLL. It recognizes teams that achieve excellence and innovation in both the robot game and the project. FLL champions “passionately inspire and motivate others about the excitement of science and technology, solving problems, working as a team, and demonstrating respect and gracious professionalism.”
Other teams also received honours at the east championship. Young Adult Mentor Award went to Manahil, a David & Mary Thomson CI student and mentor of H2Owesome from Donwood Park PS (LINK). This award recognizes a person who volunteers their time to guide a team, and provide knowledge, experience, and wisdom, inspiring younger students and modelling the Core Values of FLL.
The Research Award went to Team Poseidon from West Rouge Jr PS. This award recognizes a team that utilizes diverse resources to formulate an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the problem they have identified.
The Bowmore Water Bots from Bowmore Jr and Sr PS took home the Strategy & Innovation Award, which recognizes a team that uses solid engineering practices and a well-developed strategy to design and build an innovative, high performing robot.
The Cyberbolts from Runnymede Jr and Sr PS won the Gracious Professionalism award for their respectful conduct both on and off the playing field.
In this year’s water-themed challenge, teams were tasked with identifying and solving a problem involving the way people find, transport, use, or dispose of water.
Throughout the season, 120 FIRST LEGO League teams from across the TDSB have been working in collaborative, project-based learning teams to solve meaningful, real-life and complex problems and then communicated their solutions to diverse audiences. “We are so grateful to the teachers who provided their students with the opportunity to develop global competencies, such as collaboration, leadership, communication and problem solving, and engage in deep learning using technology,” said Annika Pint, FIRST Robotics Administrator for the TDSB. “We wish these teams good luck as they continue to share all that they have learned and accomplished throughout the season and look forward to seeing even more teams participating in next year's space-themed challenge.”