In their first year, the Rocky Point Middle School Radical Robotix team has already made a name for themselves in two ways: placing second in their first-ever regional competition, and more recently being named winners in the Long Island FIRST Lego League Championship.
As Champion’s Award winners, the team has qualified to spotlight their work on an international stage during the FIRST Lego League World Festival in St. Louis, Mo. this spring where the team will compete against 89 teams from 47 countries.
"It's remarkable how far this talented team has come since their inception in September,” coach Mark Moorman said. “We have a very talented and dedicated group of young men and women. The prospect of competing in St. Louis is daunting yet exciting. The students will get to interact with other students from around the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that they will never forget."
In addition to their fieldwork, the students were also tasked with identifying a problem that an elderly person might experience and developing a solution for it. For their presentation, the students created a concept they called the “Medi Watch,” a wrist monitor that wirelessly communicates with a countertop appliance to automatically dispense a person’s medication, track vital signs and makes alert calls to emergency responders when necessary.
“It was just one small, simple idea from one team member that evolved over time into what we ultimately presented, ” said team member Kyle Markland.
In addition to Coach Moorman, the team, which is comprised of students in grades 6-8, is advised by teacher Dorothy Burns with the assistance of parent volunteer Dr. Chris Pinkenburg. The team has been meeting twice a week since the fall to work on their robotic prototypes, learn about the intricacies of building a Lego robot,and learn how to program its corresponding computer chip.