Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


November 24, 2010 - 5:57pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, elba, legos, lego league.

Here's a news release submitted by Elba resident Chantal Zambito, co-coach of Elba's FIRST Lego team; please see the Aug. 5 article:

On Saturday, Nov. 20 the NXT Lancers Team from Elba competed in the Finger Lakes Regional Foundation for the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Qualifier Tournament.

It took place at Churchville-Chili High School.

Five students made up the Lancers' team: Christian Gerould, Garrett Sinemus, Evan Hare, Colin Hunt and Johnny Zambito.

They used LEGO kits to build robots programmed to perform specific tasks.

Over the course of eight weeks, they designed, researched, built, programmed, tested and refined a fully autonomous robot capable of completing various missions.

This year’s theme, "Body Forward Challenge," explored the cutting-edge world of biomedical engineering.

Participants learned about innovative ways this science is used to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body’s potential -- with the goal of helping people lead healthier, happier lives.

The NXT Lancers designed a hockey helmet with a visual warning, airbag, and damping system to help a player avoid a concussion if they were body checked during a game.

The boys performed a newscast skit using themselves as "emergency medical technicians" and expert "doctors" to present their invention to a panel of judges. They were limited to five minutes.

The team was then asked questions about their project for another five minutes. The judges commented, “Great presentation and teamwork. We really like how you researched concussions and included an explanation of them in your skit.”

Next, the robot design judges interviewed the team. They talked about the construction of the robot and its programming. The judges were interested in what the team came up with to solve problems and what they considered to be the best parts of the robot.

The NXT Lancers demonstrated several of the robot's programs during their interview. The technical presentation judge commented: “Sturdy robot, nice consistency with the robot arm and good documentation.”

Then it was on to the robot performance rounds. Each team performed in three rounds, each lasting two-and-a-half minutes.

The team scored a total of 205 points, winning one of the three rounds -- an exceptional accomplishment for their first qualifier event.

In all, there were 21 teams, seven of which will go on to the RIT competition.

Saturday was a nonstop day of preparing and presenting. The team members worked hard and their determination was amazing, according to co-coach Evelyn Hunt.

Next, they will be preparing for an exhibition competition at Genesee Community College on March 17 during the GLOW region Tech Wars.

The Elba team is looking for more members, especially girls. Robotics are not just for boys! (In fact, there were two all-girl teams at the Nov. 20 competition and one of them earned the highest award. Both are going on to the next round.)

August 5, 2010 - 12:17pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in genesee county, elba, Onion Festival, legos, lego league.

Elba resident Chantal Zambito and her family will be parading through Elba this weekend at the Elba Onion Festival. Their vehicle: a LEGO float promoting the town's FIRST LEGO League team.

FIRST ("For Inspiration and Recognition in Science & Technology") LEGO League is an international organization that partners with experts in the fields of science and technology to get kids ages 9 to 14 involved in working with robotics and engineering.

The float will showcase robots made by the kids in Elba's FIRST team, which Zambito coaches along with Evelyn Hunt. These 'bots are connected with very simple tools and can be made to move by being hooked up to laptop computers.

Zambito says her goal is not only to promote Elba's team, but also to encourage other kids to join the leagues and form their own teams -- which can be associated with towns, local organizations, etc.

Zambito has been working closely with Genesee County communities and school districts for this purpose.

"Right now I think there are only three teams in Genesee County," she said. "I'd like to see at least six to eight teams -- that way we'll have enough teams that we can build a Genesee County Region section for the leagues."

At this time, Genesee County teams need to go to Monroe County -- which has 72 teams -- in order to compete.

"I hope to change that," Zambito said.

Zambito has been in talks with technology personnel at GCC, and they are very interested in doing this in conjunction with their Tech Wars program for high schoolers.

Each year, a different challenge is issued to the teams in terms of building their robots. This year's challenge is called "Body Forward" and will have the kids exploring the world of biomedical engineering.

Zambito and her family will be handing out informational brochures as the float passes along the parade. These brochures will include contact information.

The LEGO float will be featured in Friday night's parade -- which starts around 7 p.m. at Oak Orchard Road and lasts until about 8:30. It will also be in Saturday's "Kiddie Parade," which starts at noon on Maple Avenue and lasts about a half-hour.

Photos submitted by Chantal Zambito

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break