Local FIRST Lego League team wins
overall International title
Members of the
FIRST Lego League championship Mindstorms
Mayhem team are (front, from left): Jacob
Krupkin and Melissa Gray of Milford, David
Schunemann of Hollis, Nathan Streeter of
Bedford, Daniel Umenhofer of Wilton, plus,
(back, from left): Mentor Christopher Jennigs
of Merrimack, coaches Ken Streeter of Bedford
and Bill Gray of Milford, Nathan Gray and
Benjamin Krupkin of Milford, Brian Jennings of
Merrimack, Benjamin Streeter of Bedford and
Victoria Umenhofer of Wilton.
ATLANTA On this trip, a group of the very
best and brightest students from New Hampshire proved they had a lot
more than Georgia on their minds.
From April 15 to April 17 in the Georgia Dome, Mindstorms Mayhem, a
FIRST Lego League robotics team consisting of home-schoolers from
Wilton, Milford, Merrimack, Hollis and Bedford, competed against 47
champions from 39 states and five other nations to win the Director's
Award at the FIRST Lego League International Invitational
In December, team Mindstorms Mayhem, one of several area teams
sponsored by BAE Systems, competed against 48 other teams from around
New Hampshire to provide both a robotic solution and a research
presentation on interplanetary mission challenges.
As winners of the Director's Award at the New Hampshire State
Tournament, Mindstorms Mayhem represented the state at the FIRST Lego
League Invitational held in conjunction with the FIRST Robotics
Competition Championship in Atlanta.
During the three-day International Invitational event, the team's
robot competed against other robots to complete nine "Mission Mars"
challenges in two-and-a-half minutes. The missions were designed to
simulate those obstacles faced by NASA scientists and engineers in the
Mars rover missions. Mindstorms Mayhem team members researched power
sources for future habitation modules on Mars.
"They determined that geothermal power is the best option if robots
can discover geothermal hot spots on Mars," said Mayhem Coach Bill
Gray. "They presented their research as a channel-surfing skit. In
five minutes, the judges saw a game show, a news interview, a science
talk show, a rap song and an interview with a robot designer."
Mindstorm Mayhem's performance earned them the tournament's coveted
"Director's Award," given to the most well-rounded team that excels in
all judging categories, including technical areas, research and
FIRST Lego League is an international program whose goal is to give
youngsters 9 to 14 the opportunity to discover how exciting and
rewarding science and technology can be. Participants develop
problem-solving skills and teamwork as they design, build, program and
operate autonomous robots to meet the year's mission challenge.
Gray added that Mindstorms Mayhem is very grateful to the many
business, community groups, and individual sponsors whose
contributions made it possible for the team to travel to Atlanta to
compete in the Invitational tournament.
For more information about the team or the FIRST Lego League, go to
the team's Web site: www.mindstormsmayhem.org