Elijah (Grade 8)
Earlier this week we attended Brick Can, which is an amazing exhibition of LEGO creations by people from around the world, to present our FIRST LEGO League robot game to the public.
For the majority of the day we worked on our robot game, although at some points we went around to look at some of the other amazing exhibits. I can remember vividly a LEGO ship built to come up out of water mechanically. It was titled the ‘Durmstrang Ship’ from Harry Potter. Some of the builds there, including this one, were amazing. I would definitely recommend it to any LEGO enthusiast.
Our team would like to thank the Brick Can organizers for allowing our team to participate. It was a great opportunity to get work done while spreading the word about FIRST LEGO League. It allowed us to demonstrate part of what the competitions are about and to interact with LEGO fans from all around the world.
We would also like to thank the generous people who attended this event and donated to our team to help us reach our goal to go to Estonia.
Ana Golland (Coach), Kyoungjoo Chae (Grade 6), Kevin Liu (Grade 6)
The last two weeks in March were quite eventful for the Forces of Atlantis. Despite it being Spring Break, the team met almost every day to work on upgrading their robot design. The team had their fair share of trouble moving their robot and its attachments to Victoria last February, but travelling with it to Estonia is a different challenge altogether. So they've spent a chunk of time re-build their massive driving structure in a way that can be taken apart easily and be (somewhat) safely transported. They also spent some time fundraising and sharing their story with the community in various ways. Read on to find out what they have to say about that they've done so far.
Robot Design upgrades (Kyoungjoo):
"So far, our robot has been going well for robot game missions. We only need to program and add some minor adjustments to some of the attachment hats we have been working on. Our team decided to try doing all the missions in four runs in 2.5 minutes. We have a massive attachment that our robot pushes to do some parts of the right side of the robot game table. The missions on the right side of the table are fountain, toilet, flower, slingshot, and faucet. This is all for the 1st run. On the 2 nd run, the robot will do the whole bottom left corner which includes flow, filter, pump addition, and rain. After the 2nd run, we will do the pipe replacement, tripod, pipe removal, and one of the manhole covers. Finally, we will finish with a fire truck, well, pipe construction, and the second manhole cover. Our team may not finish all of these missions in 2.5 minutes, but we will give it our best, and will get a fairly big amount of points while trying."
Fundraising Efforts (Kevin):
"This week and last week, our team decided to use a new method to fundraise – Going door to door and asking for donations. The first day when we tried it out, our team was split into two groups. One team did the door-door fundraising in an apartment, while the other did it in a neighbourhood.
The first day of going door to door the temperature was freezing-cold, and it was pouring rain. The group I was in (neighbourhood), went from door to door and sold Easter eggs. It was not very easy. At the end of the day, our two groups raised almost $400. We explained how we were 1 of 100 teams invited to go to Estonia to represent Canada. After our short spiel, neighbours donated. We went back to fundraise again a few days later, a people were very generous. Some people asked us questions about our robot.
While the door to door fundraising was going on, some of our team members also took turns going to HR MacMillan Space Centre. We had the fortunate opportunity of being invited to set up a Lego robotics activity centre that featured a space theme, and we helped kids program the robots to do various “missions”, such as “Rocket Blast Off”. The goal of the mission “Rocket Blast Off” was to program the robot to hit a circular pad, which sent the rocket flying towards the other half of the table which represented Mars. We are grateful to the people who donated their spare change there.
It felt good to tell people about us and what we do."
Elijah Gemmell (Grade 8)
For the FLL tournament there is more than just robot games. There is also a project component that we are privileged enough to wok on. This year the FLL project topic is Hydrodynamics: we were expected to find a problem with the water consumption cycle in urbanized areas and propose a solution.
So for our project we decided to solve the problem of wasting water when you turn on the tap and the wrong temperature of water comes out. Normally, one must wait until the desired temperature is ready, and this wastes water. We found out that there are some solutions already, including custom water conservation systems in houses and instantaneous water heaters. Unfortunately, custom systems are hard to come by, people have to design their own. Instant water heaters can be quite expensive, costing as much as $6,000. Besides the high expense, it can also be faulty and do not have a very long life cycle. So a new solution to the problem is necessary.
We decided that we wanted to build a system that would conserve water by making sure that the exact desired temperature of water (dictated by the tap) comes out. We went about doing this by creating a circulation system that sends water that had already been in the pipes (prior to you turning on the tap) through the heater to be reused (as shown in the diagram below). In our system, when you turn on the tap looking for hot water, no water comes out initially. The cold water in the pipes gets recycled back into the water heater until the desired water temperature is reached. At this point the temperature sensor sends an electrical signal to the diverter valve diverting the now hot water up through the pipe and out the faucet.
To be clear, the point of this system is not to get water fast, but to conserve water. It is not recommended to implement into old buildings because to rip off walls and existing pipes would be a costly operation. This is suitable to new building constructions of single detached homes or decentralized water heater systems. The pump system is at the heater, while the temperature system is right at the valves under the sinks.
We will be working this month on the prototype of our solution, small enough to bring to Estonia.
Kyoungjoo, grade 6
The rest of my team goes to NRP (Norma Rose Point), but I go to General Gordon Elementary School and attend the French Immersion Program.
I will talk about the British Columbia First Lego League (BC FLL), how we prepared for the Championship, and how our team did. The Championship was held on February 03, 2018. There were lots of teams all from the different places in BC, and we challenged each other. How did I feel? I actually felt great, because this was my second time participating in the BC FLL Championship.
Early in the morning, before the robot runs, we had our Project, Core Values and Robot Design Presentations. They went pretty well, but everything went downhill on our first robot game. Somehow, our robot stopped moving after a few cm. Since this was the first time our robot ever failed, everybody was shocked and speechless. Some of the team members started crying. We found out that one of the cables wasn’t put in properly. Our second run was a disaster, too. This time, one of the robot’s sensors was malfunctioning! By this time I was feeling utterly hopeless. To my surprise, ...
David, Forces of Atlantis team member (Grade 6)
Today, Lulu and I started on the modifications for our Mindstorms EV3 robot suit. Previously, it kept falling apart when transported and took up too much space, so Lulu and I began making major changes on it. Elijah had many ideas to contribute and he sketched right away a building plan. At the same time, Kevin and Iokasti, began perfecting one of their previous missions by making a new attachment for it.
To give the team “energy” after the long, hard school day, my Dad brought everyone cinnamon buns and cookies! Even though we worked very hard today and did not get distracted, we still have a lot of work left to do.
Lulu Golland - Forces of Atlantis Team Member (Gr. 8)
When we won first place in the FIRST LEGO League Lower Mainland Tournament in N. Surrey last December, we were shocked. There are three components to the Competition: Core Values, Project, and Robot Game. Of these we knew that we had done well with our Project presentation and we also knew that we had captured the essence of the FLL Core Values. However, we also knew that definitely we could have done better in our Robot Game. So we were surprised when we won first place, since there we were not the top score on the Robot Game.
We were very busy in the months leading up to the regional tournament. The first couple of weeks we were quite chilled, building our robot, figuring out the mat, listening to music (mostly the soundtrack for the musical Hamilton), and having fun. We built a robot which had many components called attachments. These attachments are meant for doing multiple missions on the robot game mat all at the same time with ease. Then we figured out our strategy for which missions to focus on, and went on to spend the next several weeks programming our robot and debugging through trial and error. As the deadline approached things got a bit more serious. By this time we had to get work done on our project and create the content for Core Values poster. Also our team decided to participate in the FLL Song Parody Challenge, so we wrote lyrics to the tune of three songs from the musical Hamilton (Cabinet Battle #1, The Ten Duel Commandments, and The Battle of Yorktown). We incorporated our Song Parody into our Project presentation at the competition later on.
The Lower Mainland Tournament in December was a fun and exciting experience, but it was not the end of our journey, as there was more excitement in the months to come.
About our team:
We are FIRST LEGO League Team # 33968, a.k.a. Forces of Atlantis, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We will be representing Canada at the FLL Open International Event in June 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia with over 100 teams from all over the world!
Norma Rose Point Elementary School (Vancouver School Board)