The University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Laboratory hosted the FIRST® LEGO® League regional Championship on Saturday February 6th for the sixth year in a row. The event included 48 teams, each vying for the coveted 1st place Champion’s Award and a trip to the World Festival.
Focusing on global themes, this year’s competition was Trash Trek, where teams made up of students aged 9-14 were asked to explore the world of trash. The teams demonstrated their understanding of trash and its impact in their community in three categories: Core Values, Project, and Robot Design.
Teams arrived early Saturday ready to celebrate their hard work and share what they had learned with everyone at the event: judges, parents, spectators, and other teams. Once the judging sessions ended in the afternoon, teams prepared for the Robot Game, which continued the Trash Trek theme. Teams showed off their autonomous robots as they completed a variety of tasks in three two-and-a-half minute rounds.
Music and team chants filled Irvine Auditorium as teams, family, and friends gathered to cheer on their teams and everyone else competing. Even though it is a competition, teams displayed that the goal is not to win, but to try their hardest and celebrate each other’s successes -- practicing Coopertition® and Gracious Professionalism®.
In total, 28 awards were given out with only two teams qualifying for the World Festival in St. Louis where they will compete against 108 teams from around the world. The qualifying teams were 9778 Those Blue Girls and 9891 Penn Alexander.
The GRASP Lab would like to thank the 120 volunteers that made this event possible. Volunteers came from Penn Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences, Central High School’s FIRST team the Robolancers, various companies in the Philadelphia region, and many other organizations.