Thunderbolts invited to FIRST LEGO League North American Tournament of Champions

A view of the Yavapai’s Robotics team at the Scottsdale Unified School District. (Submitted photo)

A view of the Yavapai’s Robotics team at the Scottsdale Unified School District. (Submitted photo)

Yavapai’s Robotics team, the Thunderbots has been invited to the FIRST LEGO League North American Tournament of Champions.

The event gives third through eighth grade students the opportunity to compete against other top teams from the United States, as well as other countries, according to a press release.

The FLL North American Championship will be held from May 20  to May 22 at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, Calif. Ten Yavapai robotics students and two coaches will attend the event.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our students,” stated Nancy Hudson, Yavapai Elementary principal. “Our students meet many times each week to work on robot design and programming for their competitions.”

Robotics participation has a long history on the Yavapai campus. The program began in 2006 and has grown into the competitive program they have today.

Using extensive mathematic and problem-solving skills, the Thunderbots designed an extremely successful robot that helped them advance to the State Championship at Arizona State University in 2015.

It was there that they earned the “Judges Choice” trophy and an invitation to the international tournament at LEGOLAND. Another part of FLL tournaments involves solving a “real world” problem. In 2015, teams were challenged with finding a way to reduce waste.

The Thunderbots came up with a unique and innovative idea that separates plastic bags from trash and allows them to be recycled, as well.

Go to yavapai.susd.org.

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