UH helps LEGOS team win 1st place

UH helps LEGOS team win 1st place

Universal Hovercrafts Technical Director helps LEGOS team bring home a first place trophy.

Bob Zang helped the 5th grade team develop an innovative robotic rescue hovercraft built from LEGO's. The team developed the hovercraft and a presentation that was delivered to the LEGO League in a competition in Wyoming. We have included a letter from a team member and the article that was written on the team. Great job Lusk Lego Robotics Team!

Hi Mr. Bob Zang! This is William from Lusk. I wanted you to know that our team won a first place trophy at our Lego tournament. We are so excited! I am sending two pictures. In the one with the trophy, I am the fifth one from the left. I am the short one with glasses. My mom the coach is on the end holding our trophy. The other picture is of the team but it's a closer picture. I am the fifth from the left. The team told me to tell you Hi and thank you for all of your help. I also copied the news article from the FRONT page of our newspaper the Lusk Herald. Thanks again for everything!

Your friend,

LEGOS team brings home first place trophy
Posted: Wednesday, Dec 9th, 2009
Brandie Bartelt/Editor

Like the cliche that our children are our future it was no better displayed than by Lusk's own Lusk Lego Robotics Team of LEMS.

Through creativity and "thinking outside the box" a team of eight youngsters invented a new and improved way for emergency vehicles to travel in Wyoming. The team consisted of five fourth graders; Jake Heil, Cole Mellott, Kayden Jackson, Jalyn McDaniel and William Fish, and three fifth graders; Nick Johnson, Daniel Blair and Cole Hart. Eighth grader Quincy Webb volunteered as a mentor to the young team. LEMS/NCHS art teacher Roxanne Fish and parent Ginger Webb coached the team.

LEGO League as a global program had theme based challenges to help engage children to research, problem solving and engineering, while emphasizing contribution to others and learning community involvement as well.

The challenges consisted of building an autonomous robot that will, in two minutes and 30 seconds complete a pre-designed mission. Analyze, research and invent a solution for a given assignment and create a clever presentation about the solution to perform in front of a panel of judges.

Lusk Lego Robotics Team created and built a renewable energy efficient all terrain emergency vehicle, which the team named GREAT (Green Rescuing Emergency All terrain Transporter).

This year the Lusk Lego Robotics Team, the "Transportation T.I.G.E.R.S" (Traveling Ingeniously, Graciously, Efficiently, Respectfully, and Safely), focused on inventing a new emergency vehicle for the harsh winter months in Niobrara County. Their "innovative solution", which they called GREAT (Green Rescuing Emergency All terrain Transporter), is equipped with a built in hospital, a winch, a hovercraft system, a Sno-Cat system with four rubber tracks, and a radar to detect phone signals. It is also powered by renewable energy. It will be stored in a building with solar panels to store energy in GREATs battery. The hovercraft propellers are wind turbines for the portable hospital. The blades double as solar panels. It is a hovercraft first because it is able to move smoothly across land, water, snow, ice, and sand because they can safely hover 9 inches above the surface. When needed, the 4 independent tracks can climb over uneven and dangerous terrain. The rubber tracks can run on dry pavement, dirt roads, mud, and deep powder snow. According to Ann Smith from the Wyoming Department of Transportation, there were 60 winter weather related accidents in Niobrara County from 2006-2008. Fifteen of those were injury crashes. Niobrara County has a response time of 8.79 minutes in town and 20.95 minutes for out of town emergencies. The hovercraft could get there faster than a regular ambulance during extreme weather conditions.

The team traveled to the Casper Events Center on Friday evening to attend a special presentation by John Wright, one of the rover planners for the Mars Exploration Rover Missions. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) has been operating two rovers on Mars for almost six years. The two autonomous robots have collected over 200,000 images on opposites sides of Mars. The team competition began early Saturday morning with the Robot Design judging. The team was scheduled for a ten-minute session with a panel of judges who assessed the teams robot design, robot consistency, and programming. The second judging session was for the Project. The team created a mock newscast that detailed their research and innovative solution. Their presentation also included a large 3D model of the vehicle that they created. The morning concluded with the Teamwork Judging. The team was scheduled for a ten-minute session where judges assessed the team's ability to be enthusiastic, show partnership, and respect for their teammates. The afternoon was filled with the opening ceremony, robot rounds, and closing ceremony.

The team competed against 53 other teams from across Wyoming The Transportation T.I.G.E.R.S brought home a First Place Trophy for their "Innovative Solution" which was a part of the Project Presentation category. After three rounds of the Robot Challenge, the team tied in 4th place with 235 points, which were 10 points short of 3rd place and 30 short of 1st place!

The Lusk Lego Robotics team would like to thank the team sponsors: Webb Ranch, Rawhide Drug, The Home Health Agency LLC, New York Life- Jon Mellott, Best Western Pioneer, Heil Hat Creek Ranch, and Allbright's True Value. We would like to give a special thank you to Dan Dressler from Tucker Sno-Cat Corporation in Medford, Oregon, Bob Zang with Universal Hovercraft in Rockford, Illinois, Louis Hammer, Ann Smith from The Wyoming Department of Transportation, Niobrara County Library, and Harold Stroh for all of their time with interviews, help with research, and emails. We would also like to thank Ron Nelson and his shop class for all of their help with the construction of our G.R.E.A.T. model and to Quincy Webb, our team mentor, who taught the team how to program in just 10 short weeks and helped them gain the confidence and independence to run the robot completely on their own at the state competition.

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