2012 Senior Solutions Challenge Fairmont SCIENEERS Take Top Spot
They navigated painstakingly
programmed LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robots through a
maze of missions and obstacles. They gave well-honed science
presentations to dedicated volunteer judges. They offered solutions to
challenges facing senior citizens using elaborate exhibits. They
demonstrated what teamwork and professionalism look like. After a full
day of competition hundreds of middle school students on 54 teams were
named winners in 10 categories during the West Virginia FIRST®
LEGO® League Tournament. The SCIENEERS of Fairmont earned the
overall championship in the Senior Solutions challenge, the theme of the
2012 tournament. BrainStorm Robotics of Morgantown took second place.
Both teams will now have the chance to represent West Virginia at a
Meri Cummings, lab manager and science resource teacher
at the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling
Jesuit University, received the Outstanding Commitment
Award at the 2012 West Virginia FIRST LEGO League state
robotics tournament held Dec. 8 in Fairmont.
The award was signed by inventor Dean Kamen, who founded
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology) to inspire young people's interest and
participation in science and technology. More than
48,000 children participate in FIRST LEGO League, a
partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company.
Cummings served as West Virginia tournament director for
seven years before finally stepping aside in 2012 to
emcee the tournament. Under her leadership the
tournament grew incredibly as she spreads the word on
LEGO robotics through her work at the NASA-sponsored
Classroom of the Future program. Cummings writes a blog
and manages four collaboratives on robotics on the
operated by the Classroom of the Future.
The 2012 tournament saw 54 teams participate, the most
Meri Cummings, director of the annual West Virginia FIRST LEGO League
tournaments served as a judge at the 2012 FLL World Festival. Meri
shares some pictures and her experiences at this huge event that brought
competitors from more than 45 countries.
Curiosity, NASA's newest, biggest,
most instrument-loaded rover, landed on Mars in August. Visit the Mars Curiosity Rover
NASATalkto link to videos, images, and NASA mission pages.
There are excellent descriptions of the instruments and some NXT and
WebQuest badge-earning challenges. You can even receive tweets from
Tweetup Highlights Robotics Week
The NASA-sponsored Classroom of the
Future turned to social media to involve people in National Robotics
Week April 9-13. Dr. Meri Cummings, science resource teacher at the
Center for Educational Technologies, coordinated a “Tweetup” via Twitter
in which participants were guided to robotics activities each day.
Cummings also moderated discussions and activities via the NASATalk
website. For the week the Tweetup resulted in 62 followers from
around the world.
2011 Tournament Worth Crowing About Just Ask the
NASA Offers Free Robotics Course Online
how to build and program LEGO MINDSTORM robots and use them to promote
student engagement and conceptual understanding of math, science, and
engineering. Explore robotics manipulators and end effectors like the
ones NASA uses on the International Space Station, and integrate
multiple sensors into your robot to allow for systematic control. Join
your colleagues in the Grand Challenge to design, build, and program a
robot to explore an environment and return with a sample for
investigation. Check it out at the
Electronic Professional Development Network.