The Bionic Bees -- a team of third- through sixth-graders from the Gillam Grant Community Center -- won the Project Award at the Finger Lakes FIRST Lego League regional qualifier robotics competition.
On Saturday, Nov. 17 the Bionic Bees competed at The Integrated arts and Technology high school in Rochester against other area teams. This year’s theme for the competition was "Into Orbit." Teams had to think of a solution to a physical or emotional problem that astronauts face when in space for long periods of time.
The team’s solution was to use virtual reality to give astronauts pieces of home through sights, sounds and smells.
They designed Bionic Binoculars, which can give you the pleasant smells of their home. The motion-detecting gloves or controllers would set off a smell when placed near the accompanying visual. Astronauts could wear a vest with the binoculars that could adjust temperature depending on the setting like a fireplace for example. Through the viewer they could see and hear the familiar sights and sounds of home.
The team modeled their idea from the Oculus brand of virtual reality products.
FIRST LEGO League gives students the chance to develop, design, build and code LEGO MINDSTORMS robots to perform autonomous “missions” on a themed playing field and design innovative solutions to a real world problem inspired by the theme.
Along their journey, students develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges.
They also practice the Program’s Core Values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology.
Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
The Learning Center at Gillam Grant, a not-for-profit center located in Bergen. We provide tutoring, homework help and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) enrichment classes and clubs for K-12thgrade students.