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Jacqui Nickell
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The Lakehill Bionicles First Tech Challenge Robotics team has been working diligently all year despite the constraints of social distancing. The team started off strong in the summer by joining a group called Project Worldwide. The purpose of the group was to share STEM ideas with students around the world. The team also continued their Lower School STEM experiments and Weekly STEM Hero series highlighting a diverse set of innovators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Be sure to follow the Bionicles on social media (@ftc14904 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) to learn about these exciting projects!
 
This year’s game is called Ultimate Goal. It involves a field with two “Tower Goals”, four moveable goals called “Wobble Goals”, and two sets of “Power Shots” that are reminiscent of a milk bottle game at the fair. The robot must intake and shoot orange, donut-shaped rings at these targets to score points. Upon return to school the team started by breaking down the tasks the robot would need to complete, prototyping possible solutions using the CAD software Fusion 360, and making the team’s vision a reality. Most Importantly, the team determined this year’s robot’s name: Vhisola, after the character in the Lego Bionicles series.
 
Because of the pandemic, this year’s competition is virtual. On Saturday, March 6th the team will meet at school for the competition kickoff hosted by Aledo High School. They will meet judges virtually to explain their vision for the robot and its functionality. At that time, the submission period for matches will open, and the team will have a week to submit completed matches through a cloud-based scoring system. The following Saturday, March 13th, the team will learn the results of the competition.
 
This year’s team consists of Seniors Sarah SmithMax Link, and Cade Armstrong; Juniors Page HowlandBlake PerrySumner BornIndi Esneault, and Will Gorman; Sophomores Anna Knickel, Ma’Ki Shaw, and Millie Castoldi; and Freshmen Nick Blanchard and Max Byrd. If you see the team members in the hallway, be sure to wish them good luck!
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