The dynastic Glen Ames PS robotics team "Guardians of the Galaxsee” competed with 70 of the best teams from around the world at the recent FIRST LEGO League (FLL) US Open championships in Carlsbad, California and came away with a first place trophy in the project presentation category.
It is the third consecutive year, and the fourth time in eight years, that the Beach-area school has represented Canada on the world stage. The team qualified to compete against other squads from Japan, Korea, Australia and all over North America by virtue of its Second Place Champions Award at a provincial event in Oshawa earlier this year. Only one other team from Canada, a school from Calgary Alberta, qualified.
Glen Ames’ project for this year’s space-related theme is called “Home Away from Home.” The team created an autonomous robot to capture key moments from home and then send these memories to space for an astronaut to enjoy in Virtual Reality, allowing those away from home to stay connected with loved ones. “This would help with the mental wellness of astronauts,” explained teacher and coach Luke Martin prior to competing at the international event. He also noted that the idea is being explored for other fields such as the military.
“Given the theme of this year’s competition, it’s entirely appropriate to say that we are just over the moon with how the team performed,” said Principal Kris Wessenger-Macdonald.
Martin said that his team was honoured to represent Ontario against the top schools from around the world. "Our students have put in 300 hours of practice time getting to this level and are now training the next generation, so that's pretty cool.”