BY KELLI GILE
Walnut—Collegewood Elementary School’s new robotics team won 2nd Place for their project presentation during the Los Angeles Region First Lego League (FLL) Championship Tournament held on Dec. 14, 2013.
The Robomasters Cougars 4-1 Team is comprised of ten 4th graders: Nathan Fong, Nafiz Islam, Madrid Nevarez, Evan Walker, Sarah Wang, Emmy Hsu, Collin Lee, Codey Ma, Kaden Salvador, and Kawin Watkins.
They were considered one of the youngest teams in the tournament, which included 4th to 8th grade student teams.
Kawin Watkins said his favorite part was “is learning to build and program the robots.”
“I started the project presentation and ended it,” said Evan Walker, age 9. “It’s fun being a part of the club and I will definitely be part of it next year,” he added.
“The best part was programming the robot,” said Sarah Walker. FLL is dubbed a sport for the mind.
“It went really good and it was fun,” added Madrid Nevarez. She said competing with the robot was the most exciting part and she won her match.
Kaden Salvador said he was impressed with his teammates at the regional contest.
“During the competition all the kids really focused and we won!” he said.
They advanced to the Championship Tournament and completed with another 48 teams from different schools throughout Los Angeles County at South High School in Torrance.
“Our little kids tried their best and had great fun working as a team with gracious professionalism to apply science and technology into real world problems,” said team coach and parent Scott Watkins.
The team researched Wildfire Disasters and presented their idea of a Firefighting Robot to the judges.
They also competed among 48 teams in the Robot Game by building and programming their robot using NXT Mindstorms kits to complete different missions.
The Robomasters Cougars 4-1 took the 7th Place award in the robot performance contest.
“They were also one of the most consistent teams, scoring over 300 points in every round,” Watkins said.
“The children had a successful season, taking full advantage of the great opportunity that has been provided at Collegewood Elementary,” he added.
“This is a huge accomplishment and I am very proud of our students!” said Principal Joan Perez.
“Mr. Watkins did an amazing job at coaching the kids and teaching them the real world skills they need to be ready to solve problems of the 21st century. They represented Collegewood well and I look forward to watching them continue to grow with the First Lego League robotics,” she added.
The Robomasters Cougars 4-1 were honored during the school’s Spirit Day assembly on January 10.
“We wanted to reward our students by giving them individual trophies,” Coach Watkins said.