On the 7th and 14th of December we volunteered at the FLL Qualifiers in Anchorage at Begich middle school. It was a fantastic success, with about thirty teams showing up over the two qualifiers. The qualifiers start each of the competing teams going through Project Judging, where they display their ideas and plans they have made to address a problem that occurs in the city, in accordance with this year’s theme, city shaper. Next is Core Values Judging, where they demonstrate their use of the core values of FIRST through a group activity and a presentation. Lastly is 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 Begich 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 advancement letter 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.