VSCSO Lego Robotics Team A-TECH Takes Top Rookie Award at the 2007 Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League State Championship Tournament
Portland, Oregon - The Vietnamese Science & Cultural Society of Oregon (VSCSO) lego robotic team, A-TECH, was awarded the First Place Rookie’s team trophy at the 2007 Intel Oregon FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League State Championship Tournament.
The championship tournament, organized by the Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program ( www.ortop.org ), was held on Jan 13th at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. From the original 359 teams, 79 teams qualified for the state championship tournament through 21 local qualifying tournaments in early December. Over a third of the teams, 128, are new to the Lego Robotic competition.
This year’s theme, NANO Quest Challenge, was about nanotechnology. From all over Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, over 2400 students, ranging from the age of 9 to 14 years old, accepted the challenge and spent two to three months to research nanotechnology and how it can be applied to solve everyday problems. Using the LEGO MINDSTORM NXT robotic kits, students learn to build and to program their robots to complete NANO Quest missions within a pressure packed 2 ½ minutes.
Team A-TECH, comprised of eight Vietnamese students from VSCSO’s Lac Hong Vietnamese language school, began the 2 to 3 days a week training in early September. Braving some very cold night in an unheated garage, the students designed, built, and tested their robot on hundreds of test missions on the 4x8 foot NANO Quest field mat. The eight team members are Kevin Jones, Jonathan Nguyen, Lawrence Chau, Danny Vu, Andrew Vu, Khiem Lam, Daniel Nguyen and Anh Minh Nguyen. They were coached by Chi Jones, Hai Nguyen, and Phuong Nguyen.
Left to Right: Khiêm Lâm, Danny Vũ, Jonathan Nguyễn, Kevin Jones,
Huân Lawrence Châu, Andrew Vũ, Daniel Nguyễn, Anh Minh Nguyễn
The tournament focuses on two competitions: a robotics challenge and a presentation based on a research project on this year's topic, NANO Quest. Teams earn awards for the best performance in the robot competition, the best presentation, and for such accomplishments as robot design, teamwork, and team spirit. The most coveted award is the director's award which recognizes the top two teams by overall performance in all areas.
Team standings in the Robotics Challenge are determined by the best score of two 2 1/2 minute rounds. In each round, students’ robots must complete as many tasks as possible in that short time period. The robots are autonomous, meaning they are pre-programmed to do their work; they are not remote controlled. Team A-TECH recorded the 5th highest score at 360 out of 400. The Pigmice, a team from Southeast Portland public schools, scored the only perfect score of 400. The Pigmice, winner of the Director’s Award, will represent Oregon to compete in the international competition in Atlanta.
“I have learned so much about building robots, programming, and nanotechnology” said A-TECH team member Khiem Lam, a 10 year old 6th grader from Imlay Elementary School in Hillsboro. Khiem was so proud of his accomplishment after the local tournament that he invited his teacher, Mrs. Michelle Martin, and the Principal to come and view his team’s project presentation on nanotech invisible armor for our military.
“Based the success and the excitement that team A-TECH have produced, we are expecting more interests from our students and hope to field more than one team next year” noted their team coach, Chi Jones.