Council honors FIRST LEGO League ‘Quake Crew’

Published 9:55 am Saturday, December 14, 2013

FRANKLIN—Following an early departure from the state FIRST LEGO League competition in Harrisonburg, the S.P. Morton Elementary School ‘Quake Crew’ were back in action Monday, demonstrating their robot to Franklin City Council.

Due to the icy conditions on the weekend of Dec. 7-8, teachers and parents opted to return early Saturday evening rather than risking the conditions projected at Afton Mountain to begin Sunday morning, said Coach Liz Burgess.

“After the (afternoon) classes we all met together at the hotel, and I asked if they would like to invite other area teams for a local competition, perhaps in the Charles St. gym, and they might even be able to drive the big robots,” Burgess said she told the children. “They were all excited and really liked the idea. I said that is good they would like to do that, as they would not be able to compete the next day since we had to leave.”

Sunday’s competition was to be the robot part of the FLL competition.

“They were crushed, but we had a pizza party before leaving and by the time we had packed up, they were ‘okay’ with the decision,” Burgess said. “They were real troopers about the whole thing.”

As far as Saturday, Burgess said the children were not all happy with the first judging session they attended on teamwork.

“They had so much to share, and the judges asked only a few questions,” she said. “So our kids came out of there feeling as if the judges never really tried to get to know their team.”

The judging on the skit that they perform went much better, said Burgess.

“The second judging, on their skit, they felt, went much better,” she said. “The judges showed an interest in their topic, and they were interested in the kids.”

The afternoon was spent in classes the children chose, including 3D printing. Another one was candy thieves and finger food, where they created an alarm system so candy could not be stolen. The third session was aviation and space, where they had a paper airplane contest. The last sessions were an ice cream demo and last standing bridge, where they built bridges out of playing cards and competed for the strongest bridge.

On Monday, the city council also issued a resolution honoring the 2013 FIRST LEGO League team “Quake Crew,” which won the FLL LEGO Regional Competition in Chesterfield.