North Engineering Robotics Design Squad
4-8-2020 NERDS Sweep State T.E.A.M.S. honors!
Results are in from the Technology Student Association TEAMS competition, and the results are astounding!
Our two North MS teams took 1st and 2nd place in state! That is right, we have the TWO BEST IN STATE teams! Look for the Best-in-State Banner that will be arriving at North soon.
The two teams automatically qualified for Nationals, which would have occured in June/July in Nashville TN, but is cancelled this year.
In addition to our 1st/2nd place state rankings, we learned our National Rankings for each area of the competition... These teams ROCKED it!
T.E.A.M.S. stands for Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Math, and Science.
These awesome students worked hard to compete in three areas:
- STEM Research Essay: 8th and 14th place Nationally
- Engineering Computations: 10th and 17th place Nationally
- Design and Build: 31st and 36th place Nationally
Congratulations to "TEAM B", better known around here as NERDzilla, consisting of Wolfgang, Jose, Aaron, Diala, Lynn, Katrina, and Avery for their STATE WIN and their top 10 NATIONALS rankings in two areas!
Congratulations to "TEAM A", a combination of the NERDS Smarties and QiiWiis, consisting of Bentalhuda, Arrwa, Annika, Tavin, Alexander, Mingma, Camilla, and Hazel for their 2nd place STATE finish, and their awesome performance in every category!
3-30-2020 NERDS Go Virtual
All current, past, and future N.E.R.D.S. are welcome to join in with us in our new google classroom space. Head over to Google Classroom and use the class code yzrhgde to join.
From there, you can code our virtual robot, virtual drone, work on learning to program in python, or get access to other online club activities that will help us stay connected and keep our minds active during this time at home.
3-3-2020 NERDS Take on T.E.A.M.S.
Fifteen Nerds stepped out of our "robotics" zone and took on a new challenge this month- the Technology Student Association TEAMS competition. TEAMS stands for Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Math, and Science.
These awesome students worked hard to compete in three areas:
- Research Essay: Together they worked to research and write a persuasive essay around this year's theme- they need to argue, with scientific basis for how to solve a current problem. In order to do this, they need to collaborate to develop ONE cohesive essay (can you imagine writing an essay with eight authors?).
- Engineering Computations: A 60 minute math test, with lots of difficult new information on science and engineering thrown in the mix- this was a CHALLENGE!
- Design and Build: A 60 minute design challenge: Together engineer a solution to a problem, given a limited set of building supplies and other constraints and criteria. (This was lots of fun!)
Our results, and how we did compared to other schools across the state and the nation, should be available in April (can't wait!)
1-20-2020 Washington State Semi-FinalsA Spectacular showing by all THREE NERDS teams that competed at the Western Washington State Semi Final Robotics tournament this weekend! Did you know that our robotics teams all placed in the top 33 teams out of more than 750 teams in the state?HUGE Congratulations to the The NERDS Kiwis, who won 1st Place Innovative Solution at the Western Washington State SemiFinal Robotics Tournament this weekend! Arrwa, Annika, Jordan, Hazel, Parker, and Bentalhuda had the TOP innovation project in western washington! They designed a multilingual interactive "monster" garbage can kit that will help solve littering in school cafeterias and common spaces by encouraging children to throw away their trash. Their prototype can "Oscar" generated quite a crowd a the competition.
12-16-2019 AMAZING! Our NERDS are ALL winners!
We already knew that our NERDS were all winners, we had won in so many ways already- from learning how to design in CAD, to collaborating with teams from across the state, to getting the robot to do that one challenge that seemed too difficult, to building complex prototypes, to growing friendships, and on and on and on.....
And then this past weekend we went to the North Sound Regional Qualifying Tournament at Cascade High School and we were BLOWN AWAY by how amazing our NERDS were.
First, some observations:
- "Can we go help them?" was something I heard our teams say over and over again. Can we go help that team with their robot? Can we go help those volunteers set that up? Can we go help organize that over there? Can we help... Can we help?...
- Gracious Professionalism and Sportsmanship are contagious- our teams kept surprising other teams with by doing "unexpected things" like going over to shake hands after the robot game, or when they came out of the judging room, or THANKING the volunteers for volunteering (one volunteer said that nobody had thanked them yet that day!). Later in the day, some of those same teams were following along. We love that our kids were able to spread kindness in this way.
- Sometimes things go wrong. One of our robots had a bad day. It happens. One of our project prototypes broke. The kids fixed it. The way our kids responded again and again to disappointments, challenges, and "bad things" showed so much maturity, grace, and confidence. We are so proud to be the coaches of these teams!
- NERDzilla brought their A game to their project and earned EXEMPLARY scores from the judges for their Research and their Innovative Solution. They also rocked the Robot Design Judging, with Exemplary scores in their Robot Game Strategy and Innovation. The Judges recognized their quality as a team with the coveted JUDGES AWARD, this year entitled "The Model FLL Team".
- Macho Nacho NERDS brought extreme enthusiam to the day and earned an EXEMPLARY score from the judges in their Project Research and Innovative Solution. That combined with a good showing on the robot game table was enough to earn them an Advancement to the Western WA State Semi Finals!
- NERDS the Smarties were bright, colorful, and spreading kindness and coopertition all day. The earned EXEMPLARY scores from the judges for their teamwork, inspiration, and gracious professionalism. The also were selected by the judges to recieve the 1st Place Robot Design: Programming Award! Their hard work payed off and they will also Advance to the Western WA State Semi Finals!
- QiiWii NERDS showed that we are stronger together than apart! They earned EXEMPLARY scores in almost all areas: Project: Research, Innovative Solution, Core Values: Inspiration, Teamwork, Gracious Professionalism, and Robot: Strategy and Innovation! Amazing! Their joyful approach to the day earned them the 1st Place in Core Values: Inspiration Award and they will also Advance to the Western WA State Semi Finals!
That is right folks! THREE NERDS teams will be moving on the the Western WA Semi Finals! and THREE NERDS teams came home with Trophies recognizing their amazing efforts!
11-21-2019 Innovation Projects: Experts and Prototypes
Did you know that one of the great sayings about FIRST LEGO League is "It's not all about the robot"?
The robots are just one small piece of the picture. The NERDS teams are also working hard on an INNOVATION PROJECT about this year's theme: City Shaper. This year, teams need to IDENTIFY A PROBLEM with a building or public space in their community, RESEARCH that problem with a variety of sources, including EXPERTS in a related field of study, DEVELOP an INNOVATIVE SOLUTION that has the potential to solve their problem, and present their solution to audiences that could actually benefit from their ideas.
Our four teams have the following Innovation Projects in progress:
- NERDS the Smarties have a plan to make cars run on garbage to solve both overcrowded landfills and the overuse of fossil fuels.
- The Macho Nacho NERDS, are developing "Permeable Pavement Cubes", a new kind of permeable pavement to solve stormwater street flooding.
- NERDSzilla have developed PowerPipes, microturbines that produce electricity from the flow of water in your building's plumbing
- The QiiWii NERDS made a talking monster garbage can that tells jokes and thanks you for throwing away your trash (in multiple languages)- keeping school cafeterias clean.
Our teams have to contact experts about their ideas as part of their research and presentations. Imagine my surprise when I get an email, thanking me for letting my kids take the iniative of setting up a guest speaker from the PUD Hydropower project. The NERDzilla team called up the PUD and arranged for an engineer as a guest speaker without my help! Jason Cohn brought in hydropower demos, and worked them through the math of how to determine whether their microturbines would generate enough power for a building.
Many teams just leave their ideas at the "idea" stage- perhaps making drawings or lego models of their plan. Our Qiiwii NERDS this year have built a complete working model of their idea, and have even begun testing it out in the school cafeteria! Their garbage monster has been happily eating garbage and telling the North MS students "THANK YOU!".
11-5-2019 Core Values: Impact and Fun!
In FLL, teams adhere to the CORE VALUES:
One way we can Impact the world around us is by sharing what we do with others! NERDzilla and QiiWii, along with a few kids from other teams joined forces today and led a troop of Daisy Girl Scouts (1st graders) in activities to earn their three robotics badges "What Robots do" "How Robots Move" and "Design a Robot". The teams demonstrated and talked about their robots and the FLL City Shaper game, helped the girls program a Botley robot, and build tiny vibration bug robots with the girls that they could take home. The daisy troop then thanked the NERDS by teaching us some songs! (There was a TINY mouse! With TINY feet! It sat upon a TOILET SEAT!)
10-16-2019 Core Values: Discovery!
In FLL, teams adhere to the CORE VALUES:
Our teams often choose a favorite core value to focus on for the year. For example, last year the Smarties focused on IMPACT on our school community and positive culture. This year our NERDzilla team is focusing on DISCOVERY. A highlight so far: One team member is learning how to model in CAD so that he can prototype the team's solution to their innovation project. He is using youtube tutorials to help teach himself. Another team member is working on learning how electrical generators work. They are enjoying learning and applying new skills (not just robot-related skills either!)