We have posted photos from the tournament!
Photos from AM - early field activities through qualifying rounds.
Photos from PM - elimination rounds through award ceremony.
The first-place finishers in the FIRST LEGO League Saturday:
Overall Competition Winner — Team 1374 LLAMAs of Lexington;
Graciousness and Professionalism — 4836 Robohawks, Leominster;
Inspiration — 2192 Blue Gear Ticks, Lincoln;
Teamwork — 2966 Error Codes, Uxbridge;
Research — 3024 Lexington LEGOheads, Lexington;
Innovative Solutions — 1661 XBOTS, Sharon;
Topic Presentation — 1564 Bancroft Uber Bulldogs, Worcester;
Programming — 6276 AMSA Electric Twisters, Marlboro;
Mechanical Design — 5975 Team Barracuda, Sutton;
Performance (Morning) — 2192 Blue Gear Ticks, Lincoln.
Kids build 'bots; 'bots build teamwork - 63 teams at event
UPTON — They designed; they programmed; they conquered.
Sixty-three teams of middle-school students ages 9 to 14 came from across
Massachusetts to Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School on
Saturday to compete in the 11th annual FIRST LEGO League Competition.
Students used autonomous robots they built to perform tasks related to this
year's biomedical-engineering theme, the “Body Forward” Challenge. They also
presented to judges a biomedical problem and proposed solution. And they were
rated for how well they demonstrated “core values” such as teamwork and gracious
Founded by Dean Kamen of New Hampshire, a physicist and inventor of the Segway
human transporter, FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of
Science and Technology,” offers robotics programs to attract students in a range
of age groups to science and technology.
Blackstone Valley Tech's Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick Competition Center was
buzzing as competing teams manned their tables, on which robots — designed,
built and programmed by team members — ran through an obstacle course,
performing simulated bone repair, dispensing medication and tackling other
medical tasks. Each round lasted an intense two-and-a-half minutes.
“Let's go, Shrewsbury, let's go,” echoed from the bleachers whenever any of the
seven Shrewsbury middle schools' teams were on the floor.
Robert Shamgochian, whose 14-year-old son, Stephen, was on the Shrewsbury team,
said, “It's a great way to tie robotics into a real educational work scenario,
so the kids have an idea for possible career development — while they're having
“They love this. They live for this,” said Andrea Shamgochian.
While most competitors were boys, the number of girls, including Shrewsbury
seventh-grader Rebecca McBrayer, has been growing. Rebecca followed her sister,
Katie, who competed through middle school before serving as an assistant coach
this year as a ninth-grader.
“Last year I was on a team of all boys,” Rebecca said. “There's more (girls) now
than there has been. It's entertaining and I like to scream my lungs out. And I
liked the programming part.”
Other school districts, like Northbridge, were making their first recent
competition appearance. Northbridge Middle School computer teacher Lisa
Gogolinski said the robotics club had been cut from the budget six years ago,
but this year she received a grant from the Northbridge Education Foundation.
The mixed-age program offered opportunities for older students to develop
leadership skills, Ms. Gogolinski said, and for students to challenge their
“The emphasis is on the process,” she said.
Northbridge 11-year-old Jacob Hazerjian took his team's debut performance in
stride. “The most fun part was doing the challenges,” he said, “but the robot
didn't go so good.”
Blackstone Valley Tech's Electronics Program team leader, Michael Norton, who
oversaw the competition, said, “What we try to do is give the thought process of
engineering. They've got to solve a problem, and using a robot is a great
platform to do it.”
For Bancroft School of Worcester's Uber Bulldogs team, researching and
presenting their medical topic — juvenile diabetes — was as engaging as the
robotics. The team won first place for topic presentation, drawing from the
school's recent eighth-grade play, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” to
portray the relationship between sugar and diabetes.
Top teams from the competition will progress to the state finals in December at
Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Sharon at Blackstone:
We will post results for Sharon teams
The doors will open at the Blackstone Valley Regional Technical High School
at 7:00 AM. Opening announcements in the new Competition Center at 8:00 am.
The first matches start at 9:00 am, with 5 matches to achieve your best score, to
seed for the afternoon single-elimination matches. The final elimination matches will start at 12:30 pm. The
awards ceremony should start around 3:00 pm, and the tournament should be over
by 4:00 pm.
The competition will include 64 teams (the largest of the Massachusetts
tournaments), including 7 from the SYRA. Members of Team Unlimited will be
present, volunteering to referee
Participating teams and assigned numbers (.pdf)
Download morning qualifying rounds
field & judging team schedules (.pdf)
Download Afternoon elimination rounds
(.pdf) - rankings determined after morning
Location: Blackstone Valley Regional Technical High School
65 Pleasant Street Upton MA 01568 (directions
Contact: Michael Norton (508) 529-7758 x2310