Excitement was in the air this past Saturday morning, December 7, at the 2013 Regional FLL Tournament for Peel Region. 28 teams, totaling some 280 students, as well as a host of parents, teachers, volunteers, and other tournament personnel, roamed the halls and filled the central gymnasium of Tomken Road Middle School, which was host to the Qualifying Tournament. Countless hands dug through buckets of spare parts in last-minute attempts to modify robots, and the click and clack of LEGO bricks being locked together was heard in every corner of the room.
When asked about his favourite part of the day, grade 8 student Neeraj, member of the GPetS,replied, “Getting to be in the pit with my teammate Nihal was so exciting. Getting the robot to actually work involved learning from our mistakes, and realizing we had to be organized.” Grade 8 student Abirami, member of The Jack Frosties, noted that she loves the FLL tournaments because they’re treated with the same respect and enthusiasm as most sports events; she fervently reinforced this with, “LEGO Robotics is my sport!”
Both teams put forth impressive efforts, and both were rewarded with a great deal of fun and satisfaction in seeing the fruits of their labours. While the day’s events were meant to highlight not only competition, but the spirit of teamwork and cooperation, only one team came away with a chance to proceed to the Provincial Competition in 2014: The Jack Frosties, who walked away with an astounding third place. They also received the much coveted Teamwork award. The girls screamed and hugged one another as their team name was called. Their peers in the GPetS, although not advancing in the tournament, learned a lot from their experiences, and are to be commended for their teamwork and determination!