LA students bring home trophies from FLL regional championship

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By The Staff

Students from Los Alamos were among the 36 teams competing in the First Lego League New Mexico Region Championship at Menual School in Albuquerque Feb. 11.
Both local teams, the Atomic Phoenixes and the Split Atoms advanced from the Los Alamos Qualifier where 15 teams from New Mexico and Colorado competed for five championship slots.
The Atomic Phoenixes brought home the first-place Programming Award, and the Split Atoms brought home the first-place Robot Performance Award.
The Split Atoms came in fourth place overall and have the opportunity to advance to one of four national open invitational events in the coming months.
Each year, as part of the FLL competition season, teams work on core values, a research project, and a robot game. Core values teaches team members that learning together, working as a team, and having fun are more important that what they win. The research project challenges students to develop innovative solutions for real-world problems.
This year’s theme is “Animal Allies,” and solutions were focused on improving the interactions between humans and animals. The robot game is where teams build and program Lego Mindstorms robots to autonomously complete as many missions on the robot field as they can in three two-and-a-half minute rounds.
FIRST is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring kids to get involved in STEM.
Los Alamos offers opportunities in all four levels of FIRST programs starting with Jr. First Lego League for kindergarten through fourth grade, First Lego League for fourth through eighth grade, First Tech Challenge for seventh through 12th grade, and First Robotics Competition for ninth through 12th grade.
Anyone interested getting involved can visit the FIRST website at firstinspires.org.