Local team wins Robotics Tournament
Mindstorms Mayhem, a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics team
consisting of home schoolers from Merrimack, Wilton, Milford, Hollis
and Bedford, competed against 47 champions from 39 states and five
other nations to win the coveted Director's Award at the FLL
International Invitational Tournament in Atlanta April 15th to 17th.
The Director's Award is given to the most well-rounded team that
excels in all judging categories.
In December, 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 FLL Invitational held in
conjunction with the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship.
| Local FIRST Lego League robotics
team Mindstorms Mayhem, winner of the Director's Award at the recent
FLL International Invitational Tournament in Atlanta. Front (l to
r): Jacob Krupkin of Milford, Melissa Gray of Milford, David
Schunemann of Hollis, Nathan Streeter of Bedford, Daniel Umenhofer
of Wilton. Rear: Mentor Christopher Jennings of Merrimack, Coach
Ken Streeter of Bedford, Coach Bill Gray of Milford, Nathan Gray of
Milford, Benjamin Krupkin of Milford, Brian Jennings of Merrimack,
Benjamin Streeter of Bedford, Victoria Umenhofer of
|Photo by Nancy Streeter
During the three day International Invitational, 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.
The team was also judged in technical areas, research, and team work.
Mindstorms Mayhem 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, and
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.
| Working together and
getting to know each other was a highlight of the recent FIRST LEGO
League Tournament in Atlanta for members of local robotics team
Mindstorms Mayhem and teams from Alaska, Mississippi, and North
|Photo by Bill Gray
Mindstorms Mayhem was also awarded the Special Assignment Award with
their alliance partners from Alaska, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
FLL teams were grouped into alliances of four teams each and given a
Special Assignment to combine their robot missions, research "What is
Six Sigma?" and develop a cheer for the alliance. Working in the
alliance and getting to know kids from around the country was a
highlight of the tournament for the team.
FLL is an international program with a goal of giving children ages
nine to fourteen the opportunity to discover how exciting and
rewarding science and technology can be. The teams develop problem
solving skills and teamwork as they design, build, program and operate
autonomous robots to meet the year's mission challenge.
For more information about the team or FLL, see the team's web
www.mindstormsmayhem.org or e-mail
The team is grateful to the many business, community group, and
individual sponsors whose contributions made it possible for them to
travel to Atlanta to compete in the Invitational tournament. Among
the Merrimack sponsors were BAE Systems; George Gordon Associates,
Inc.; Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics; Pete and Anita Hinkle; and
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