2014-10-31 / Community

Garden City teams set for another fun robotics season

BY ALENA BUBNIAK


The Crazy Creators members - fifth graders Charlie Ambach, Julian Bubniak, Riley Sanz, Max Sclafani and Nicholas Stamidis The Crazy Creators members - fifth graders Charlie Ambach, Julian Bubniak, Riley Sanz, Max Sclafani and Nicholas Stamidis Fresh off winning two first place prizes in last year's First Lego League (FLL) Qualifier competition, the Crazy Creators are one of several teams that are hard at work on this year's project as a third season of the Garden City Robotics League gets underway this fall.

This year's challenge focuses on the idea of how to improve the way people learn something new. Teams must choose a topic and find out how people learn about it today. Then the team must brainstorm a solution that will either improve something that already exists, use something that exists in a new way, or invent something totally new.

The Crazy Creators members - fifth graders Charlie Ambach, Julian Bubniak, Riley Sanz, Max Sclafani and Nicholas Stamidis - decided to study how people learn about space. The team, under the guidance of coaches Ken Ambach and Dino Stamidis, are currently studying methods people use to learn about various space topics and thinking about ways to assist those who may be visually or hearing impaired.

In addition to planning out their project, the Crazy Creators have begun assembling the Lego robot necessary to compete in this year's game, which requires teams to build, test and program a self-directed machine that can complete a series of missions on a specially designed board against other teams. These three elements - the project, robot game, and adherence to the FLL core values of teamwork and friendly competition - are what make up each yearly Challenge in the First Lego League.

The Crazy Creators are currently meeting each week to work on their robot and project. They will put their robot to the test at the FLL Practice Tournament on December 6th at Ronkonkoma Middle School. Then, on January 31st they will participate in the FLL Qualifying Tournament in Mineola. If they are successful in Mineola, they will move on to the FLL Championship Tournament at Longwood High School on March 1.

The Garden City Robotics league (GCRL) consists of parent-supported elementary school teams as well as a team at the Garden City Middle School in the interest of bringing more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs to the community. Those interested in learning more about the league should contact GCRL Director Trish Lynch at jandtlynch@verizon.net.

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