Members of the Wise Guys Robotics team brought home a coveted golden ticket from the First LEGO League Robotics Tournament at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, qualifying them to move on to state championships in December. This marks the third time a Country School team has qualified for states since the school's robotics program began in 2012.
The win came after months of practice, and Wise Guys Coach Stephanie Johnson was understandably proud of her team.
"This year was really exciting because the Wise Guys, all very busy Middle Schoolers who work hard in their classes, play sports, do community service, and so much else, were each able to contribute in their particular area of strength and expertise as we prepared for the competition," she said. "For example, we had builders building and maintaining the mission boards and designing and building attachments for the robots throughout the fall. The project team researched and prepared the project and then was able to loop other team members in so they could help present. And the programmers dedicated many long hours after school and on weekends to complete the mission programming and then shared their expertise with the other team members who could help in the robot driving responsibilities at the competition."
At the tournament last Saturday, Mrs. Johnson said everyone collaborated on all three aspects of the contest: the missions, the "coopertition" activity, and the project presentation. "I loved watching them all support each other throughout the day and impress the judges with their collaborative natures and communication skills," she said.
Wise Guys Owls during the competition.
Both the Wise Guys and the Archimedes Owls, a team made up of less experienced members, competed at the Old Lyme tournament. Although the Archimedes Owls team did not receive a golden ticket, they impressed their coaches with their teamwork and dedication both before and during the competition. At Old Lyme, they performed well, gained valuable experience for the future, and had fun.
Some members of the Archimedes Owls at work.
Huge thanks to all of the hard-working robotics team members and to their dedicated coaches, Stephanie Johnson, Amy Cornell, and Christopher Arrandale '14. Christopher served an invaluable role, both at the tournament and in practice sessions all season, juggling his obligations at high school and elsewhere to share his expertise with our teams. We also send a shout out to the Country School alumni who were working the tournament on behalf of Lyme-Old Lyme High School, including Anna Catlett '14 and Reed Spitzer '14. Anna was even honored at the event as the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Volunteer of the Year.
Anna Catlett (third from right) caught up with her TCS classmate, Wise Guys coach Christopher Arrandale (back left), and the Archimedes Owls at the tournament.
The Wise Guys move on to compete at States on December 2. Stay tuned for more.