TMI Robotics advances to regionals

TMI First Lego League (FLL) Team 12608- Don’t Try This at Home (above) competed this weekend at the FIRST Alamo Regional FLL Qualifier at Roosevelt HS against 24 other FLL teams. The team presented their Project Presentation of the Handy Hand, an electronic extending grabber to help seniors with trouble reaching down and up due to arthritis in their back, participated in a Robot Design interview and a Core Values interview. Then each of the team members, in pairs, took turns at driving the robot on the playing field. At the end of the day, the team won 2nd place over all and got an invitation to the FIRST Alamo Regional Championship on March 30th. Congratulations to all members of the 7th grade rookie FLL team – Thomas Anderson, Ethan Arellano, Brooke Kotopoulos, Annie Domit-Suarez, and Matt Bowler!

Congratulations go out to all 3 robotics teams:


Team 12608 – Don’t Try This at Home – Participated in 3 ten minute interviews – Core Vales, Design, and Project Presentation. They then each took a turn driving the robot on the robot field. This rookie team of 6 seventh graders did a fantastic job, received great feedback from all the judges and finished 2nd out of 25 teams overall for the day. They brought home a trophy and received an invitation to the Alamo Regional FLL Championship March 30th. They will join the 8th grade team, 12605 – 5 Guys, 2 Girls and a Robot at the championship.


Team 6219 – Panther Bots Bravo – This rookie team of 9 freshman went through an interview process to discuss the design of their robot and handed in an engineering notebook that had detailed notes of their robot designs and practice progress. They then played in 5 matches where they were randomly paired with other teams for a 2-pair alliance. They had some great competitions during matchplay. So much so, that when the top 4 teams had to choose 2 alliance partners for the semi-finals they were chosen to compete. So in their first FTC robotics competition, this team made it to the semi-finals in the robot competition. Then at the awards ceremony, they received the Think award for their incredible notebook and also received an invitation to the Alamo Regionals FTC Championship on March 29th.

Team 6221 – Panther Bots Alpha – This team consists of 6 players – US from all classes. Only three of this team had prior FTC experience. They too went through the interview process in the morning and 5 matchplay competitions with random alliances. Their robot did really well and placed them in a good position for the next levels of competition. They were chosen 2nd by one of the top four teams. Their chosen alliance of 3 made it all the way to the finals. And, because of them being chosen 2nd on the 2nd place alliance, they too received an invitation for the Alamo Regional FTC Championship on March 29th.

Both FTC teams will compete the first weekend in March at the final qualifier of the season to put their robots to the test! So far, four of our five robotics teams have competed in a qualifier, and all teams have qualified for the next level of competition. So proud of all the kids efforts, dedication, time and talent! The FLL team put in about 16 hours over the last 2 weeks, and the FTC team put in about… countless hours (I don’t want to count), but multiply that by the number of kids on the team, and that is a LOT of effort and dedication. Hard work does pay off!

We had a great turn-out of parent/sibling support at the competition. It was great for the MS kids to watch the US compete at the next level. We have a great robotics program going at TMI, and I look forward to seeing us make it better!

Special Thanks…
We owe a big thank you to Brandeis for letting up use their FTC practice field the last week.
Thank you to all the parents that drove the FTC kids back and forth to Brandeis all last week.
Thank you to John Brady, our FTC and FLL mentor for all your help and time.
Thank you to Dr. Waddington for your endless hours you gave last week and over the season.
Thank you to the parents that feed our kids at practice and at the competition.
Thank you to our sponsors who helped us get everything we need to compete.
Thank you to all the parents that support the program.

Go Panther Robotics!
Betsy Westerman
FLL Coach