WOW, What an exciting day!
After months of preparation and training the day finally arrived. The children were excited and full of enthusiasm to give it their all at the 2015 FLL Trash Trek Competition. This year 40 schools competed in 4 areas of judging – Robot Performance, Core Values, Technical Presentation and Research Project. We had some special guests from Ford Australia, Swinburne University and BAE Systems talk about the importance of robotics and engineering skills for our future leaders.
After the opening ceremony it was off to prepare for our first event. Our first event was a run on the board with our robot Optimus Grime. He put in a good performance scoring well but unfortunately not to his full potential. We were a little disappointed but it was a positive and sound start to our day.
Our second event was the technical judging of our robot, its missions and our attachments. The children went in well prepared and presented their concept confidently. They discussed their mission strategies and demonstrated their robot on the board to the judges. The judges asked them technical questions and were extremely impressed with the children’s attachments.
Our next event was the Research Project Presentation. The children gathered all their equipment and plastic sorter prototype and made their way to the judging room. On their way to the room the team was interviewed by one of the FLL judges on their Core Values. The children did very well under the conditions and circumstances and were able to tell the judge how they shared their ideas and experiences with each other and the wider community.
Once this was completed the children went into the judging room without their coaches, parents and support team and delivered an amazing presentation. They scored full marks and were recommended for a judges award for the most innovative solution. We were so pleased and proud of their performance.
Once the presentation was over we unveiled the plastic sorter in our team pit and invited the other teams to come over and try our model out. The other teams loved testing the sorter and using the dump truck to unload the plastic onto the conveyor.
Once the children had a quick bite for lunch the technical Team (Zoe, Kav, Eric, Leo and Kyle) along with their coach, Dan made their way up to the practice board to make some last minute adjustments to our robot. They were preparing it for the last two runs on the board.
The children took the robot downstairs for its second run, you could feel the tension and nerves in the air. The robot was set, ready to go and NOTHING!! Our EV3 brick had a malfunction!!. By the time the children reset the brick critical time was lost and we didn’t score many points on the board. It was back to the training board to rectify the robot and give it some other runs on the board.
Then our final run.
The whole team was extremely nervous, this was our last shot and Optimus needed to perform. Zoe and Kav made their way into the theatre and set up the robot for its last run for the competition. Our toughest competitors – The Megabots from Glendal PS were on the opposing table. They had some consistent runs on the board all day so we needed Optimus Grime at his best if we were to be competitive. The time was set and Zoe and Kav were focussed. 3, 2, 1, LEGO!! and he was off. He manoeuvred his way around the course dodging obstacles and picking up the pieces on the board, he dropped the chicken and windscreen in the car, flicked the workers in the sorting area and loaded the trash from the conveyor into the sorter with one second to go! Boy, it was close. We were so happy with the run and were confident this may have just got us over the line.
We packed up our pit and waited to be called for the presentation ceremony. There was singing and dancing to AC/DC Thunderstruck and the crowd was pumped! The awards made their way into the stadium and the judges presented teams with Lego trophy cups. Teams with innovative ideas, teams with gracious professionalism were awarded and invited to compete at the National Championship in Sydney. At this stage we had not received any awards, we were down to the last one and the overall championship trophy. The judges read out ‘the robot performance award goes to……The TRASHFORMERS!!’ we all jumped up and cheered. The children ran down the stairs and hi fived the judges and collected their award. They posed for a team photo and then sat back in their seats.
Now, the moment everyone was waiting on….the Championship trophy for the best overall team displaying excellent results in all categories of the competition. Everyone was so nervous, we waited and Milorad finally announced the winner ‘THE TRASHFORMERS’ we all screamed and cheered. the team made their way down the stairs and collected the winning cup and cheered ‘Trashformers – Plastic in Demise!!’
There were smiles and cheers from around the stadium as the children ran up the stairs and were congratulated by Mr Grossek and all the parents and coaches. We were so proud.
Congratulations Trashformers we are all so proud of you. Good luck at the FLL Championships in Sydney on Saturday 5th December 2015.