By: Rene Thompson, Staff Reporter | Photo By: Rene Thompson
A New Mexico chapter of the First Tech Challenge Lego Robotics program is raising money to compete in the FTC World Championship next month, dual credit CNM student and team leader Haley Hanson said.
Hanson’s team, Dutch 200, which competes against other teams using Lego Robot kits, has won a spot in the FTC World Championship on April 24-27 in St. Louis Mo., but must raise a $1,000 entry fee first, she said.
“The team is really happy about going to the championship,” team chaperone and Haley Hanson’s mom, Lori Hanson, said.
Dutch 200 was invited to the world championship after winning the Inspire Award in the regional competition on March 16, said Lori Hanson. The team’s robot, Hal, won tenth place in the robot competition, she said.
The team does not yet know what they will do to raise the entry fee, but will post the details and how others can help on their Facebook page at facebook. com/ftcteam5666, Lori Hanson said.
Haley Hanson said she learned about robotics when she was 11 when she and her brother joined a team in the junior league of the same organization.
“We build our robots to complete a certain challenge each year that is released in September, and challenges consist of game like competitions for children to better understand, such as this year’s form of a three-dimensional vertical Tic-Tac- Toe, taking objects from one point to another in a specific pattern,” she said.
The FTC and the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization work to get kids from Kindergarten through grade 12 interested in learning about science and technology through robotics challenges, she said.
“It is a fun way to learn about new technologies, as well as teamwork and strategy, with a very unique sports model,” she said. It also teaches gracious and ethical professionalism at an early age,” Haley Hanson said.
Dutch 200 works with several children’s organizations and schools, such as the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy, the Albuquerque School of Excellence, and the Pruitt Reservation, teaching students about Lego robotics, she said.
“Our team has mentored over 60 First Lego League and First Tech Challenge teams in our five plus years with the FIRST organization,” she said.
For more information on Lego robotics and competitions visit usfirst.org.