2010 - Body Forward
St. Joseph's School – FIRST Lego League Team 3800: The Brainstormers - 2010
Front Row:Jackson S.*, Sienna H.*, Angelina L.*, Gregory S., Dallan G. (Junior Mentor), Noah H., Tommy S.*, Dominic L.. Back Row: Jay G. (Mentor), Olivia L., Roger T. (Mentor), Ryan S., Philip P., Andrew P.*, Nicholas C., Keith L., Martin P., Matthew S., and Joan D., (Team Coach - Teacher).
Not Pictured: Mark M. (Mentor). (* Members of the ‘B’ Team)
Resent article written in the Church Bulttin summarizes the competition : (by Marc Dovi)
The Brainstormers of St. Joseph School recently participated in regional qualifiers of the FIRST LEGO League competition, held at Spry Middle School in Webster. FIRST is an acronym - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology - and the competition required that a 10-member team build and program a small robot for competition, give a technical presentation on how they came up with their design and do a research project that required each team to identify a problem and research ways in which biomedical engineering can help the situation.
The Brainstormers chose "the hand" for their research project.
Before a two-judge panel, the team put on a skit where someone in the group broke a wrist but still wanted to play basketball in the big game. They went the traditional route, seeking a doctor's prognosis that would have placed the hand in a cast. They then went to a biomedical engineer, who recommended injecting a polymer into the wrist to fix the break.
The judges then questioned the team on how they came up with their project and asked how their research showed that biomedical engineering could resolve the problem. The judges were impressed and one had this to say about the team's efforts.
"Great, creative, clear presentation. Evident you all worked together and everyone was knowledgeable . Great research talking with a lot of professional."
Another added this: "Good understanding of mechanical design."
Both judges had this to say about our St. Joseph School team: "Very polite and courteous" and "Liked that you raised your hands to answer questions."
The Brainstormers had been prepped by health professionals during their research; Bernadette Palermo, a parent of two team members and a physician's assistant, had given the Brainstormers an overview of the human body, and Tracy Giacobbi, a parent of St. Joseph students and a physical therapist, gave a presentation in the early part of the team's development.
The choice of the hand as their subject went along with the theme of this year's competition, "Body Forward."
"This was a rookie team," said mentor Jay Giacobbi. "And they showed themselves to be very well-prepared during their presentation. It was great to see."
What was also great to see, Giacobbi mentioned, was the teamwork involved. "These students are fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders but not everyone knew everyone else when we began. So, we split them up into pairs and each had to work on a 'mission,' and they just really came together and worked well together."
The 'missions' are part of the third portion of the competition, in which the team builds and programs a small robot and then "asks" it to do certain tasks. They can attempt up to 14 "missions." Each team was given three attempts, with the highest score counting among the three. The Brainstormers scored a 135, a personal best, on their second mission.
"That was something to see," said team coach and PreK teacher Joan Doyle, who noted that the team's practice runs had netted only 80 points. "It all just went right, and they did a marvelous job showing what they had learned."
Giacobbi said that it was exciting to see team members between practice runs "working in the pits to improve or perfect" their programming.
"Seeing kids with that kind of engagement is really something great," he said.
The team, which consists of a 10-member 'A' team that included Nicholas Caterisano, Noah Henry, Dominic Lamb, Olivia Laniak, Keith Lynd, Philip Palermo, Martin Petrauskas, Gregory Sanders, Matthew Schwab and Ryan Sheridan, and a 'B' team or junior team of Sienna Henry, Angelina Lynd, Tommy Sanders, Jackson Sickler and Andrew Palermo. The 'B' team had Dallan Goldblatt as a junior mentor, and in addition to Mrs. Doyle and Mr. Giacobbi, mentors also included Roger Triplett and Mark Mascadri.
The purpose of the 'B' team, according to Giacobbi, is to introduce younger students to the experience so that can move up and compete in future competitions. And Doyle noted that they created buttons that were a "coveted" item at the competition. The 'B' team also was instrumental in the original T-shirt design that the Brainstormers wore at the event.