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Scenes From FIRST LEGO League Robotics Event

on January 19, 2019 - 10:12am
FLL Team 146, The Quadrumaniacs, won the top award, The Champion's Award at the 2018-2019 Los Alamos FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournament. Courtesy photo
FLL Jr. Teams cheer for a successful expo! Courtesy photo
LEGO robots congregated at Los Alamos Middle School Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 for the local qualifying tournament for FIRST LEGO League (FLL).
Teams from Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque competed for awards and met to share ideas, as is part of the "gracious professionalism" concept of FLL.
Local high school robotics team, Project Y, which is also a FIRST team (FRC Team 4153) put on the event for the younger teams.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging students to have fun with robotics. The youngest teams were represented Saturday at the FLL Jr. Expo, with nine Jr. teams (ages 6-9) showing off their projects related to outer space. The teams were:
  • Space Stars (Synergy Poster/Research Award)
  • Moon Wolves (Rising Stars Core Values Award)
  • Artemis Scouts (Spirit Core Values Award)
  • Robotic Wrappers (Showmanship Core Values Award)          
  • The Rockets (Construction Innovation Model Award)
  • Team Moon (Simply Awesome Machine Model Award)
  • Satellites (Amazing Movement Model Award)
  • Guardians of the Moon (Li'l Einstein Model Award)
  • The Rockstars (Complexity and Decoration Model Award)
Each year, the FLL challenge is released in August with a new theme. Teams of students (ages 10-15) are tasked with designing, building and programming a LEGO Mindstorms robot. They all compete on a 4' x 8' competition mat with LEGO missions built to reflect the year's theme. This year's them in FLL was "Into Orbit." In the robot games, teams sent a payload down a ramp, collected core samples, activated a 3D printer and placed satellites in the red planet's orbit, all in LEGO models. Teams also compete in 3 judged sessions: Robot Design, Project and Core Values.
The qualifying event was an all day event, ending with an exciting awards ceremony. All day, teams cheered each other on in
The all day event was exciting for kids working in robotics -- spectators cheered just like at a sports match! Teams supported each other, celebrating each other's accomplishments and sharing ideas for how to solve difficult problems, as is the central theme of "gracious professionalism."
Nine teams competed, and four teams qualified to advance to the state New Mexico FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournament Feb. 9.
Advancing teams scored well in all competition areas:
  • The Quadrumaniacs from Los Alamos (First Place Champion's Award)
  • Awesome Otters from Los Alamos (Robot Performance Award and Project Award)
  • Drama Llama from Los Alamos (Core Values Award and Global Innovation Nomination)
  • Robotic Cheetas from White Rock
Also competing were:
  • NovaTempus (Robot Design Award)
  • Metroids from Los Alamos          
  • Atomic Comets from Los Alamos
  • LEGO Lords from Española (Santa Clara Pueblo)
  • Chewie's Chiles from Albuquerque
Team 4153, Project Y and all of the teams would like to thank Los Alamos Public Schools for their support and also wish to thank the local chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which has been instrumental in starting and helping continue robotics programs in Northern New Mexico.  
For more information or to volunteer to help at the NMFLL Championship, visit
Chamisa School's team, Robotics Cheetahs. Courtesy photo
Two Mountain School girls on team "Awesome Otters" won the Robot Performance Award and Project Award. Courtesy photo
Team Drama Llama was selected to compete for the Global Innovation Award and also earned a spot to compete at the state FLL tournament. Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
FRIST Lego League teams celebrated successes … and laughed off their robots' mistakes! Courtesy photo