2013 FLL North American Championship Tournament highlights

The RoboRangers had an amazing experience at LEGOLAND.  We met new friends from Canada, teams from all over the continental US, teams from Hawaii and Mexico, and teams from Korea!  Our favorite moments are too numerous to count.  We put together a little video documenting our time at LEGOLAND.  Enjoy!

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FLL Qualifier at Revere Middle School

The RoboRangers had a fantastic day at their qualifier. The team was easily spotted with their crazy rainbow mohawk hair!

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Marcus and Aidan ran the first robot run of the day and scored the team’s highest score.

Bobby and Evan were the handlers for the second match and worked awesome together! Alex and Ray had a fantastic third run with the buzzer beating race to the ramp! Everyone cheered when it balanced just as the timer rang. Phew!

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The team gave their project presentation and completed their team work challenge between matches. Their skit was hilarious! So much fun was had by all!

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After their final match, the team sat down with a technical judge and went over all the aspects to their robot, the “Flying Monkey.”

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At the end of the day, the RoboRangers received an advancement ticket to the Lone Star South Texas regional. Their day was highlighted by receiving the 1st place award in Strategy & Innovation for robot performance and the 2nd place Champion’s Award!!!! Way to go RoboRangers!!!

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When we arrived back home, Duncan and Conley, along with their babysitter Ashley, made this awesome banner for Aidan, Fiona, and the rest of the RoboRangers!

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South Texas Qualifier at Cinco Ranch

The RoboRangers competed in one of the first qualifiers for the area this past Saturday.  24 teams descended on Cinco Ranch Junior High School for what turned out to be a great tournament.  CRyptonite 624, the Cinco Ranch High School FRC team, hosted the qualifier.  Their army of volunteers made the event run smoothly and their spirit energized the crowd.

The team started the tournament by first going to the Core Values Teamwork judging.  Although they couldn’t complete the challenge, they united as a team, gave it their best, and had a lot of fun doing it.  Next up was their first robot match, with Bobby as robot handler and Marcus as his pit assistant.  The pair managed to give the team their highest table score of the day.  After the first match, the team was ready to give their project presentation.  As always, they gave an enthusiastic performance and the judges loved that it was clear that the team works really well together and that they put in a lot of effort into their research.  The judges gave excellent feedback that they can apply to further their research project.  Match #2 was next with Aidan and Alex handling the robot.  Aidan felt that one of his touch penalties wasn’t warranted and he had the courage to approach the head judge for a reversal decision.  In the end, it didn’t affect the team’s overall score but it took a lot for Aidan to make that challenge.  Match #3, led by Trent and Fiona, was a bit difficult.  The sensor on their robot fell off after the first mission and they worked as hard as they could to get it back on and functional.  Grace under pressure!  The team went for Technical judging of their robot design and programming after the matches were complete.  They did a fantastic job as a team explaining the robot design process throughout the season, their many different prototypes, and how they got to the robot they competed with that day.

After lunch, the waiting began while the judges deliberated who would be awarded advancement tickets and awards.  Team CRyptonite 624 and the emcee did a great job at keeping the teams engaged.  It was especially fun when they called the coaches up for what they thought was acknowledgement, and it turned out to be a coaches dance-off!  Coach Damian got his groove on doing the bull rider and even took a spin on the floor.  The chicken dance, the macarena, and more made Coach Damian a sweaty mess but he had a blast!  Even the RoboRangers were caught dancing!

It was a fun event and a lot of teams were recognized for their awesome efforts.  The RoboRangers didn’t have a strong robot game and I wasn’t sure if they would be up for any awards.  All awards were given except for the 1st Place Champion’s Award.  The emcee read the winner…team #5374…the ROBORANGERS!!!  The team graciously accepted their award and their advancement ticket to the Lonestar Championship to be held January 7th!!!  There were tears by the team members, proud coaches, and parents.  Their accomplishment as a team is outstanding!

Here are some highlights of their day.

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Here is a funny video of Coach Damian and the RoboRangers dancing!

FLL Qualifier – December 3, 2011 from Susan Lynch on Vimeo

RoboRangers learn about food safety hands-on

On Tuesday, the team had the chance to go downtown and speak with several health inspectors with the City of Houston’s Department of Health and Human Services – Bureau of Consumer Health Safety. Carolyn Gray, the Chief Sanitarian, organized an excellent field trip for them. It started with a powerpoint presentation about food safety and the possible points of food contamination.

Larry Goodman, one of the food inspectors, gave a demonstration on how to properly sterilize dishes and utensils and the importance of doing so, especially in the retail restaurant setting. He also talked about the most common food safety violations inspectors come across.


CP Yang, talked to the team about the equipment inspectors use during their inspections. They were also extremely generous and gave the team their own refrigerator thermometers to take home, a food testing thermometer, dish sanitation temperature devices, as well as chlorine test strips.

After the presentation at the Department of Health and Human Services, the team ate lunch in the Memorial Hermann Hospital Cafe before their 1:00pm meeting. CP Yang arranged to have the team go on a simulated inspection of the hospital’s kitchens. After lunch, the team was met by Bob Peake, the Director of Retail Operations for Memorial Hermann Hospital. He took the time to teach them even more about food safety. And on top of a great educational experience, Bob treated the kids to pizza, cookies, and fruit. The kids were also given a Memorial Hermann hat to wear during the inspection and to keep afterwards. Bob also arranged for Sharon Cox, the Director of Nutritional Services, and the head chef of the hospital to come and meet the team.

Next, Angie Garrett, the Director of Health Care Improvement, did a hand washing demonstration with the kids. Simulated bacteria were sprinkled on their papers and they were taught the proper way to wash their hands. The boys were loudly singing “Happy Birthday” while washing their hands.

After the team all washed their hands, their hands were inspected under a blacklight to see just how clean they got their hands. Not so good!

Some team members had germs all over their faces, shirts, and still on their hands. Alex won a prize for getting his hands the cleanest. Angie Garrett also gave the team a bag of goodies to take home with them.

Next it was time for the hospital inspection. The kids got to see the cooks in action while observing the ways that the staff keep foods safe while they preparing to feed over 4500 people per day. The team got to go into the -10 degree freezer and they loved going in the Coke cooler. On their tour of the kitchen areas, they were treated to Blue Bell Chocolate Ice Cream. Yum!

The Roborangers would like to extend a huge thank you to Carolyn Gray, CP Yang, Larry Goodmand, Bob Peake, and the staff at Memorial Hermann Hospital for providing the team with a wealth of knowledge that they can apply towards their FLL Food Factor research project.

The team with our mentors and new friends from the City of Houston (Larry Goodman, Carolyn Gray, and CP Yang) and Bob Peake, the Director of Retail Operations at Memorial Hermann Hospital

Here is a slideshow of highlights from our day. Enjoy!

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