LAMS Robotics Club 2018 Summary Reflection

John Teague and fellow team member Teryn Bingham, from Los Alamos Middle School robotics club, register and check-in their robot for official approval to compete. Photo by T.J. Bonzon
LAMS Robotics Club 2018 summary reflection
Started by Mr. T.J. Bonzon,
Robotics Club sponsor/coach 2017-2018
When our LAMS Hawk 7th Squadron mini-sumobot team scored their first point, they were jazzed and eager to try again. So they grabbed their sumobot, jumped up and ran back in the line-up (next-up dock) to await another competition round. Such was some of the positive experience for Los Alamos Middle School’s (LAMS) Robotics Club members Eliza Lamborn, Senna Luke, Teryn Bingham and Daniel Dellers at the RoboRAVE International Competition in Albuquerque at the Convention Center downtown.
Our team had “some” positive experiences because they had to work through failure and frustration.
They found failure and frustration in robot rebuilds and re-designs. Iterations (number of tests and re-trys) were many before they were confident enough to try to score. After trying a jousting challenge, they were told to re-design their robot so the “knight” was sitting without any mechanical advantage around it, no bars around it to help it keep standing and not be knocked off. They spent part of the morning and time after lunch problem-solving that one, without much success.
Though originally not signed up for sumobot, the jousting team looked at sumobot as an alternative competition. After investigating the sumobot competition across in another hall, the three team members, Verona Brown, Daniel Dellers and Teryn Bingham decided to go that route. They were able to because their coach, Mr. Bonzon was able to sign them up for both at registration that morning. He just asked if they could.
They only scored in the last hours of Friday’s first day of competition. By the end of the day they were at 42nd place out of 70 teams enrolled.
Nigeria lost a team member to drowning earlier in the week. He was honored with a moment of silence. Two other teams presented his team with gifts. The whole competition was dedicated to him. And a money fund was started in his name to help more students be part of robotics.
John Teague about to press their jousting robot’s start button. Photo by T.J. Bonzon
Eliza Lamborn & Teryn Bingham in the line-up of teams waiting to compete in the mini-sumobot category. Other team members Senna Luke, Verona Brown, John Teague and Daniel Dellers not pictured. Courtesy photo
“3-2-1-sumobot” says the official judge at the beginning. Three robots get ready to start. They try to push each other off the circle board. Courtesy photo
20 international teams attended this year’s RoboRAVE International Competition. Next year the international competition will be in China, then in 2020 in Japan, and in Mexico in 2021. 30 from the Philippines came. Courtesy photo