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Inaugural Katy FIRST® LEGO® League Robotics Qualifier Tournament a Success

The Cinco Ranch High School Robotics Team 624 “CRyptonite” is pleased to report the successful completion of their inaugural FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) robotics tournament.  Twenty-four teams from all over the Houston metro area competed in the tournament.  FLL teams of six to 10 students from fourth to eighth grade work alongside adult mentors to design, build, and program autonomous robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® NXT technologies, and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of a research project.  This year’s competition is the FOOD FACTOR Challenge. Can FIRST LEGO League teams improve the quality of food by finding ways to prevent food contamination? 

The “RoboRangers”, a neighborhood-based team from the Greyson Lakes subdivision of Katy, won the tournament’s First Place Champions Award, given to the team with the highest combined score from all elements of the competition.  Made up of fourth and fifth graders, and one junior high-aged member, “RoboRangers” was one of the youngest teams in the tournament. Team “CRypton”, from Cinco Ranch Junior High, won the Second Place Champions Award.

In addition to the performance of their robot in head-to-head timed competition, other elements the teams are judged on are their research project and presentation, robot design and programming, and FIRST Core Values.  As First and Second Place Champions, both the “RoboRangers” and “CRypton” will be moving on to the next phase of FLL competition: The Lone Star FLL Championship Tournament, which takes place on January 7, 2012 at John H. Reagan High School in Houston.

Teams which won awards in the individual phases of the competition will also move on to the Lone Star FLL Championship Tournament. The “CRyptoCoyotes” from Cinco Ranch Junior High received the Core Values: Teamwork Award.

Throughout the competition process, FLL robotics teams deal with real-world application of science and math concepts, hands-on problem solving as well as honing research and presentation skills. This Katy qualifying tournament, one of 570 held around the world, was the first step in the regional robotics competition process which culminates in the Southwest (Texas/New Mexico) FLL Championship Tournament. The winning team from the Southwest Championship participates in the 2011 FLL World Festival.

Since its founding in 2001, Cinco Ranch High School FIRST Robotics Competiton (FRC) Team 624 (“CRyptonite”) has achieved national recognition in all areas of FRC competition. This has been possible through the sustained financial and mentor support of founding sponsors BP and Oceaneering Intervention Engineering along with other corporate sponsors including ConocoPhillips, Wood Group, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Minute Maid, JC Penney, Newland Communities, West Engineering, Orange Leaf Yogurt, Bolli Brothers Pizza, Mission Burrito, and Whichwich. Numerous teachers, parents, mentors and the team’s incredibly hardworking students have also spent countless hours to achieve the team’s goals.

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