Young Minds, To Work!

Hawks FTC team members from left, Sam Crooks, Joseph Thompson, Erin Scott, Jessica Cooke, Summer Bronson, Jaryn Newman and M.I.M.R.E. Not pictured, Do Vo and Michael Peters. Courtesy photo

M.I.M.R.E.. (Mechanical Idea Made Real Epically.) Courtesy photo

Young Minds, To Work!

LAMS 7th Grader

The Los Alamos Middle School has accepted a challenge involving skill, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and gracious professionalism. “What is this challenge?” you might ask, and so I will answer that inquiry, it is the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and this year it is the “block party”. The challenge, simplified to the basics, is where you design, build, and program a robot to pick up blocks, lift itself off a bridge, and raise a flag. If you want further information on the game and rules, go to or talk to any of the team members, we’ll be happy to share our experience.

Now that you have an idea on the game itself, I can tell you about the team. The team, Hawks FTC is a “rookie team” because it’s our first time in FTC so we started with zero experience. Although, for our first competition Saturday, we did pretty well. We placed second in the state against returning champs, the Dutch 200 team! And we brought home two trophies. The first competition may be over, but there are still many opportunities for the community support Hawks FTC, which is always appreciated.

Back to the Hawks: Our team is through Los Alamos Middle School, and will remain there even as the students move on. This year, the team broke off into smaller groups to accomplish each task, (lift, chassis, and programing.) The team at Los Alamos Middle School welcomes more students with bright ideas, and/or people who want to learn something new.

M.I.M.R.E. is the name of the robot. It stands for Mechanical Idea Made Real Epically, and I must say it’s a true statement. We put in two to four hours, four days a week to get M.I.M.R.E. up and running, but in the end it was so worth it. M.I.M.R.E. has a telescoping arm, runs autonomously, and has a fast, reliable chassis. In the end, M.I.M.R.E. helped get us over one hundred points on average.

So, sixth-graders especially, check out FTC, because it’s a fun way to learn life lessons and skills, especially gracious professionalism and good sportsmanship.  

Keep your eyes out for M.I.M.R.E., because it’s going on tour around Los Alamos, to give everyone a taste of FTC. We hope to see new members next year!