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Students rock robotics tourneys; head to State Championships
More than 100 students on 21 teams from seven Cherry Creek Schools (Campus, Challenge, Falcon Creek, Greenwood, Laredo, Prairie and Timberline) competed in FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Robotics Qualifying Tournaments, during the month of November. Several teams won awards and eight teams qualified for the FLL State Championships on Jan. 12 on the Auraria Campus. They are:
•    NXT Brains from Timberline Elementary
•    Senior Samurai from Timberline Elementary
•    Elder Ninjas from the Challenge School
•    Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Punchcard Bots from Campus Middle School
•    Old MacDonald Had a Bot-The Blazing Fireballs from Campus Middle School
•    Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Le Vert Vrai  from Campus Middle School
•    Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Banana Bots from Campus Middle School
•    Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Purple People from Campus Middle School

But more importantly, all the students had fun and learned a lot about science and community service.  In addition to building a robot to perform specific tasks, students also had to do a research and service project related to this year’s theme; “Keeping seniors active, healthy, and engaged.”

For example, Challenge School students designed devices to open pill bottles and chairs for cars that swivel and slide to make getting in and out of the car easier for seniors with knee problems, while Timberline Elementary students came up with an innovative solution for modifying a cane.

"We didn't know how severe senior citizens' problems were,” said Timberline fifth grader Isaac Zimmer. “This inspires us to continue finding solutions to make a difference in their lives."

Timberline also did a “Le’go Your Legos” project.

“The team collected 14,127 used Legos from Timberline and other community donation sites,” said Katherine Aschenberg, a Timberline parent volunteer and coach.  “The kids sorted, cleaned and distributed the Legos to children at the Gateway Battered Women's Shelter in Aurora and to The Mission (for disadvantaged and homeless families) at the Volunteers of America.”

"It was terrible to see that many people homeless and that needed help. It was heartbreaking,” said Cade Glover, also a fifth grader at Timberline.  “It's sad to know there are kids who don't have homes. We wanted to give them Legos, so they could have fun again."

Prairie Middle School hosted 24 teams, including 16 from the Cherry Creek School District, for the FIRST LEGO League Southeast Metro Qualifier on Nov. 10. Here are the awards from that tournament:
Rising Star – Wall-E, Prairie Middle School
•        Champion's Award -- Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Banana Bots from Campus Middle School
•        1st Place Robot Performance –  Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Punchcard Bots , Campus Middle School
•         1st Place Core Values – Old MacDonald Had a Bot-The Blazing Fireballs, Campus Middle School
•         1st Place Robot Design – Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Freezing Ice, Campus Middle School
•         2nd Place Robot Design – Carl’s Sr., Challenge School
•        2nd Place Research Project -- Old MacDonald Had a Bot-Purple People, Campus Middle School

Laredo Middle School’s Lego Lions team earned the Rising Star Award at the Colorado School of Mines Qualifier on Nov. 18.  Timberline’s NXT Brains won a Judges’ Award trophy at the Southern Colorado Qualifier and the school’s Senior Samurai team won 1st Place Research Project at the North Metro Qualifier, both held on Nov. 17.
Posted 11/30/2012 9:54 AM
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