Homeschoolers take LEGO first place

Bedford Journal - December 7, 2006

NASHUA - Homeschoolers from Milford and a team from Amherst Middle School took first place awards in the annual FIRST LEGO League Tournament Saturday.

Mindstorms Mayhem, a homeschool team that includes students from several area communities, took first in the teamwork category, and they took third place in the robot performance awards category.

The iBot Nanos from Amherst Middle School took the judges' perfect process award for planning and execution.

The teams were among 50 New Hampshire elementary and middle school teams that researched, designed, and demonstrated a robotic solution to this year's challenge. Students also had to research and propose uses of nanotechnology in applications such as medicine, computers and the environment.

Mindstorms Mayhem members are Micah Edelblut, Melissa Gray, Katie Hammes, Nicholas, Hammes, Amelia Jennings, Benjy Poore, Elizabeth Poore, Amy Schunemann, Nathan Streeter, and Dan Umenhofer.

Amherst Middle School team members are Nick Wilson, Mike Rego, Sean Fay, Jarod George, and Kole Nunley. Coaches are Dennis Wilson, Joe George, Mike Rego and Dan Fay.

Teams had to build and test a robot that would execute a number of maneuvers on a tabletop field. At the tournament in Nashua North High School, teams competed in two-and-a-half-minute rounds and the robots had to complete as many as nine missions, such as manipulating and aligning atoms, testing a fabric for stain resistance or delivering medicine.