This Saturday was the first and last FLL qualifier in Anchorage, because all the others were cancelled due to the earthquake. It was a fantastic success, with nineteen teams showing up to compete, and one FLL team volunteering with other community volunteers and members of our FRC team to host the event. The day started with judging, with each of the competing teams going through Project Judging, where they displayed the ideas and plans they had made to address a problem that occurs in space travel, in accordance with this year’s theme, Into Orbit, Core Values Judging, where they demonstrate their use of the core values of FIRST through a group activity and a presentation, and lastly Robot Design Judging, where teams exhibit their robot and programs to the judges. Once judging was over, the game began. Throughout the afternoon, teams engaged in friendly competition on the two sets of game tables in the gym of Central Middle School, where the tournament was being held.
Finally, after all the matches, awards were given out to teams based on their performance on the game field and in judging sessions, as well as an award for an outstanding volunteer. All the teams who received an award qualified for the statewide tournament in January.
As is usual for FIRST events, it could not have happened without many volunteers, some of which were from FRC team 568 and some from the community. Volunteering at FIRST events is a great way to give back to the community and to help further STEM education, as well as being an amazing experience. Everyone should look for FIRST events in their area and volunteer – we can guarantee you will have an amazing time, and you’ll feel good while you’re at it.