By Brian Denham - Bedford Journal staff
Bedford Journal - April 22, 2004
After the first day of the international FIRST LEGO competition,
things didn't look great for the Mindstorms Mayhem team.
The home-schooled kids from several southern New Hampshire
communities, including Bedford, ran into a number of setbacks with
their robot, and they were facing the best teams from 39 states and
five nations, so any setback could be a disaster.
"The competition was really stiff," said Ben Streeter of Bedford, whose brother Nathan is a fellow team member and whose father Ken is a coach. "After the first day, I didn't think we had a chance."
But by the end of the competition in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta
last week, the Mayhem coaches and kids, including three Bedford
residents, turned things around and won it all -- the director's award
as the top team in the competition.
"We are all kind of floored," said Nancy Streeter, the mother of
Ben and Nathan, and wife of Ken. "It's just incredible, and we are
very proud of the team and the coaches."
In the FIRST LEGO League, teams of kids ages 9-14 build and program
robots made out of LEGOs to solve nine missions based on problems
encountered by NASA scientists and engineers in the Mars rover
missions. Teams are also responsible for a research presentation.
For coming in best overall, the team earned a $5,000 scholarship
from LEGO to start a high school FIRST team.
FIRST LEGO League is a nonprofit partnership between Dean Kamen's
FIRST program and the LEGO Company and is considered the "little
league" of the FIRST Robotics Competition.