Robotics team places at international tournament

| 11/05/2012

(CNS): Cayman Prep High School’s robotics team made a very respectable showing last weekend at the First Lego League World Invitational tournament. The Cyber Rays were up against a field of 64 teams in Lakeland, FL, where the competition included 5 robot runs, technical evaluation, project presentation, and Core Values interviews. Josh Martin, Michael Boucher, Nick Crawshaw, Ryan Kirkaldy, Drew Milgate, Samantha Smellie and Aideen Teeling earned 2nd overall in the Presentation Award for Effective Communication. The award, placed them at the top of the world rankings and gained international publicity the islands, the team’s mentor said.

Head coach Alison Smith, mentors David Kirkaldy and Jeff Boucher, parents and Sheila Purdom also went along to support the team. Boucher said the Lego League provides incredible opportunities for the young team

“This is more than learning robotics.  These kids learn to think like scientists and engineers, while building interpersonal and presentation skills, and learning about team dynamics, research and time management, fairness and honesty, and over an event like the FLL World Invitational, performing well under immense pressure," he added.

Head Coach Allison Smith added that even if the children do not pursue engineering and science, they have learned to strive for excellence in all that they accomplish.
"We were never sure how far we would get as a rookie team but we were determined to do our best.  I am happy to say that doing our best has proven that we are capable of international success. I am very proud of the growth and development that each team member has demonstrated throughout the season. What we learn will always be more important to us that what we win," she said.

The coaches and mentors said the weekend’s event was the culmination of a “real dream season for the rookie team from Cayman” with important wins at the qualifying event in January, and at the regionals. It was at the Florida State Championship where the team qualified for the World Invitational event.  On every trip the team has promoted the Cayman Islands with prominent display of our flag in all events and handing out Cayman Islands trading pins kindly provided by the Department of Tourism.

The team is already looking forward to the next season of FLL robotics competition which starts in the fall school term and will be centred around the theme of senior citizens entitles "Senior Solutions. Independent. Engaged. Connected."

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