Last weekend in Juneau, the Metlakatla Braves Robotics Team took 3rd place in the Southeast Regionals, with 28 teams in competition. With this result, the team qualified for the State Finals to take place in Anchorage in mid-January.
On Saturday, December 12, twenty-eight FIRST* LEGO League robotics teams met at Centennial Hall in Juneau to compete in the Southeast Regional Qualifying Tournament. FIRST* LEGO League emphasizes that teams come to the meet prepared have fun demonstrating what they have learned. Far less attention is paid to how a team places, though the six top-scoring teams from the regional meet earn an invitation to the state competition in Anchorage in January.
The Metlakatla Braves team consisted of Avienda Cook, Tobin Buxton, and Caleb White, all seventh-graders. At their November 21st competition in Ketchikan, the Braves placed 5th out of 6 teams in the Robot Games. That outcome revealed that a review of their missions and strategy was necessary. After three weeks and many hours of revising strategy, rewriting programs, and redesigning mission implements, the team felt confident of a better showing in Juneau. Their hard work paid off: after three rounds of competition, the Metlakatla Braves placed third overall in Robot Games. Their highest score was a 421 compared to a meet high of 467.
Coach Joyce Metsa said “As the coach, I am extremely proud of these young engineers. They work together cheerfully, cooperatively, creatively and confidently. At each practice they tested new ideas, and they experienced failure more times than they can count. They never got discouraged. Their persistence allowed them to reach the success they enjoyed in Juneau.” Then she added, “Our journey is not over. The team picked up many ideas in Juneau that they want to incorporate into their mission designs. If we have permission to travel to the state tournament, we will be ready.”
Way to Go, Team!
* FIRST stands for the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology