NSA’s Lego team winsPublished 9:54pm Monday, November 18, 2013
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s lower and middle school Lego robotics teams have progressed to the state round after both were successful at the regionals in Norfolk Saturday.
The Wave Runners lower-school team competed against about 14 other teams, while the Flood Protection Force middle-schoolers were up against about four other teams, said Michele Bossick, coach of both teams.
The Wave Runners came away from the bout at Norview High School with a first place in the research project category, while the older students won the champion’s award for their division.
Both teams will now compete at James Madison University Dec. 7-8 for the next round of the Virginia/District of Columbia First Lego League.
“I thought our middle-school team had a good chance of advancing,” Bossick said. “A lot of them are return players from last year. I thought the lower-school team had a good chance of getting experience; winning an award was just great.”
For the research component of the competition, themed around floods this year, the lower-schoolers came up with the idea of a raft pack, to be deployed like a parachute when the waters rise, while the middle-schoolers devised sandbags enhanced with cinnamon and charcoal, which both have special water-absorption qualities, Bossick said.
“Both teams really studied the manufactured cost … and analyzed the feasibility of those projects,” she said.
“I think that was an important part of their research, as well. Anyone can come up with a cool idea, but considering cost and what it might take to make something happen is important.”
The research involved a field trip to the National Weather Service office in Wakefield, she added.
Arya Barot, from The Wave Runners, said his team worked well together. “We actually felt that a person on the team was just as equal as anybody else,” he said.
Abby Conrod said she enjoyed her first year on the team. “I like the science and the math part of it, and I really like programming, because it helps to do motions on the board,” she said.