Local teams headed to First Lego League State Championships | AspenTimes.com

Local teams headed to First Lego League State Championships

Anna Stonehouse and Jeanne McGovern
The Aspen Times

The action in the Aspen Middle School gymnasium Nov. 12 put any basketball game to shame. Hundreds of kids, parents, volunteers and spectators packed the space to see whose robot would come out on top, landing the team a coveted spot in the First Lego League State Robotics Championship.

The tension was high and tears were shed at times — but more often cheers echoed around the competition pits. The event, which included several different challenges under the "Animal Allies" theme, came off without a hitch thanks to a cadre of some 60 volunteers under the leadership of Caroline Hanson, robotics teacher at Aspen Middle School.

In all, 22 teams — 11 from the Aspen public schools, one from Grand Junction, two from Steamboat, three from Glenwood Springs, one from Basalt, one from Fort Collins, two from Collbran and one from the Aspen Community School — competed in the Mountain Qualifier. All students received a participation medal, and 11 different trophies were handed out. And, once the scores were tallied, six teams learned they were headed to states Dec. 17 in Denver, including the Goosebots, Robotic Wolves (soon to be the Robo Lobos), Sherlock Homies and three Aspen teams — Silverback Squad, Bionic Bears and Mechanical Mammals.

And like so many things, a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words. Robotics is one of those things, which makes it perfect for this installment of A Week in the Life.