Synergetix Off To National Championship!

This post is a bit late for our dedicated readers but yes, Synergetix is off to the FLL National Championship in Sydney on December 8 and 9. This is an awesome achievement and the team keeps meeting all of the goals they have set for themselves. We competed at the inaugural South Australian FLL State Championship held at Pedare College at Golden Grove last Saturday, November 24.

Here’s what happened:

Robot Game and Robot Design
The team felt quite confident after scoring 104 in the practice round. But unlike the Regional where we started with our best score that stayed in second place for most of the day, we opened with our lowest round of the day in the first match for real points, a score of 70 in a round where a lot went wrong. This affected the judging session afterwards where team members were still thinking about the negative aspects while being judged. After a team meeting, the strategy was decided to go back to basics and get all of the reliable missions done first and only try the more ambitious ones if time allowed. This led to an improved 97 where only some final seconds panic incurred a couple of touch penalties. However, this score had the team and our technicians feeling like they were back on track and they blitzed the final round with their highest ever score of 122 and were only one slightly off Lander Touchdown attempt from scoring higher. This was good enough to finish in 4th place which was a great result at a State Championship. Seeing Roboroos East and the Krakens with much more advanced robot designs and scores highlight where we can still aim for improvement.

Research Project
After reviewing our Rubric carefully after Regional, the feedback was that our solution needed to be simpler for the average person to understand. Our researchers reworked the script, laminated two blueprint diagrams to visually show the solution and talked through how to ensure that everyone in the team could help explain the research and the problem if the judges asked. Our project presentation went really well, all team members contributed and the judges were really intrigued with the idea of an artificial magnetic field for a spaceship created by interlocking tiles that could ward off dangerous cancer causing radiation.

Core Values
Again, we looked at the Regional rubric for how to improve. The biggest area we could easily improve on was to ensue that all team members spoke up during this session so we planned for everyone to have specific areas of our journey to speak about. It was even arranged for the coach to step put of the way to avoid any “coaching”. The result was a perfect score – the judges loved the various ways we had reached to others from helping rookie teams, running a Junior Lego League Expo, seeking sponsorship to connecting and speaking at Rotary dinners.

This was very nerve wracking. The team felt that they had done very well and had improved in all aspects from the previous year but this was the State Championship where standards are higher. We had to wait until the last trophy of the last category before Synergetix were announced as the winners of the Gracious Professionalism trophy! This was soon followed  by the announcement of teams earning invites to Sydney, and thankfully we didn’t have to wait until last to find out that we were amongst the lucky 8 going on to the next level.

So, Sydney, here we come!


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