Lego Competition FIRST In Fun
Merrimack Journal - December 16, 2004
'Mindstorms Mayhem' is First Again
A team of local home-schooled students, including a team member and
a mentor from Merrimack, took two first place awards in the FIRST Lego
League state tournament Saturday, sending them back to the
international competition that they won last spring.
The Mindstorms Mayhem home-school team of kids ages 10-14 took the
Director's Award, emblematic of top honors across all judging
categories, and first place in robot performance. The win means that
for the second year in a row, Mindstorms Mayhem will represent New
Hampshire in the international competition. It will be held in the
spring in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, site of Mindstormers'
international victory last April.
The team includes two Merrimack residents, mentor Christopher
Jennings and team member Amelia Jennings, along with Katie Hammes,
Nicholas Hammes, and Melissa Gray, all of Milford; Victoria Umenhofer
and Dan Umenhofer of Wilton; Jean Marc Le Doux and David Schunemann of
Hollis; Ryan Simard of Lyndeborough; and Nathan Streeter of Bedford.
Coaches are Bill Gray of Milford and Ken Streeter of Bedford.
The theme of this year's competition was "No Limits," and the
student-built robots had to complete tasks that a disabled person
might encounter. They had to be able to move a CD to a desk, put a
ball into a basket, serve a tray of food, feed pets, open a gate, read
the correct colored bus sign, push in chairs, bring a pair of glasses
back to base and end with the robot on the top of some stairs. There
was a time limit of two minutes, thirty seconds.
In addition to robot design, each team presented a research project
to a panel of judges. Mindstorms Mayhem partnered with the Milford
Wadleigh Memorial Library Trustees to help make the library more
accessible to people with disabilities. The team developed and
distributed a brochure and instruction sheets for some software
programs installed on the library computer that make using the
computer easier for people who are visually impaired.
Additionally, the home-schooled Mini Mayhem team, including Ethan
Jennings of Merrimack, won two awards: "Most Realistic Wind-up Car"
and "Best Illustration of the Model on a Show Me Sheet."