Okay, maybe not the world, but they are invading my life. You see, I signed on to coach Junior’s FIRST LEGO League Robotics team. They started a league at his elementary school this year (and one other in town – it will expand out next year) and he’s on team Funny Bones. Our team, plus the 4 others from our school and the 4 teams from the other elementary school attended the Mindstorm Madness tournament in Shrewsbury yesterday, 6 weeks or so after our team formed. We were up against 17 other teams, some of them middle school teams who had better robots and competition experience. Our plucky little robot soldiers, after 9 challenge rounds, were seeded FIRST(!!) for the playoff rounds. FIRST! Our average score over the nine rounds was the highest! Was that even possible? I can tell you, I almost cried I was so proud of these kids, and so shocked. When I went into the gym during the break and saw the list of teams, and saw #7 listed first, I refused to believe it was a ranking. But it was.
So we explained to the kids that really, that was the highlight of the tournament, because that’s the REAL show of who did the best. Anyone could get knocked out of the semi-finals by just having a robot malfunction.
Except they didn’t have a robot malfunction. They won each of their semi-final rounds, and won the final against a team from the other Leominster elementary school by a mere 5 points. We won the tournament, the whole thing. And we also got the robot performance award. Our simple little last-generation robot was a tireless little engine that could.
To say I was beside myself about the whole day is an understatement. 7 of the 9 Leominster teams made the elite 8, and 3 of the final 4 and both of the finalists were from our schools. I don’t think I’ll ever see such a thing again, and I will be happy HOWEVER they do at the Leominster Tournament this week. Funny Bones rule!