CMS to represent state in international robotics competition

The Firebots, consisting of four Cocopah Middle School eighth graders, will take their robots to compete in the First Lego League Open May 17-19 in Carlsbad, California.

They will be participating with 68 teams from Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Zimbabwe and many states across the US, according to a press release.

The team qualified for the competition in January when they earned the Saturday Champions Award at the Arizona State Meet.

“I am so excited to meet kids from other countries and learn about their research projects. We are grouped with teams from five of the other countries between our robot runs and our judging sessions. I can’t wait,” said Christine Jones, looking forward to the competition, in a prepared statement.

FLL is more than robots, the release said, noting that the team will present their research project to the judges and have a Core Values judging session, in addition to the robot part of the competition.

The “Into Orbit” season required the teams to identify a physical or social problem astronauts face while living in space for more than a year and create a solution.

The Firebots created the “Sock Top” which prevents “alligator skin” that astronauts develop from tucking their feet under the foot rails on the International Space Station.

The team’s prototype includes a squishy cushion to protect the top of the foot and a 3D printed textured plate on the bottom to help maintain sensitivity since they aren’t walking on them, the release detailed.

The Firebots are active in the local community and have mentored a younger team, The ElectroBotz, the past two years and have helped three local Girl Scout Troops earn their Robotics Programming Badges, the release said.

They were invited to attend PADT’s 25th anniversary celebration to showcase their project and robot in March. They also had a demonstration at the “Duel in the Desert” FRC/FTC competition in Glendale in February, the release added.

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