Two Lego robotics teams from the Castaic Union School District, the Live Oak Spot Bots and Live Oak Leopard Bots, showcased their ingenuity and skills at the Valencia Qualifying competition, according to a news release from the district.
The Nov. 5 event marked the inaugural competition of the season for both teams, symbolizing months of dedication and hard work, the release said.
The Spot Bots (Bella Herrera, Carter Reiber, Eddie Zenkner) and Leopard Bots (Andrew Perez, Tanner Kalan, Leo Garcia, Annalie Garcia) not only designed their robots but also meticulously coded them to autonomously accomplish various tasks within a tight 2.5-minute time frame, the release said.
The playing field tasks carried points, contributing to the team’s leaderboard standing. Additionally, teams underwent judging panels where they presented their robot design, explained their code, answered questions about an innovation project, and provided evidence of adhering to FIRST-aligned “Core Values” (Discovery, Impact, Innovation, Teamwork, Inclusion, Fun).
Scores from judges, combined with the highest game scores, determined the 17 out of 29 teams advancing to the Regional Qualifier in December. The Spot Bots achieved a team-high score of 235, the highest in the three years of the program. The Leopard Bots faced initial challenges but mounted a comeback, finishing with 155 points.
During the award ceremony, the Spot Bots clinched first place in overall Core Values for the second consecutive year. However, the elation was momentarily dampened when they didn’t hear their team number announced among the advancing teams. An email titled “California Southern FLL Robotics CONGRATULATIONS” later revealed an error in the announcement, and the Spot Bots are indeed advancing to the Regional Qualifier in December.
“The families, coaches, and the entire Castaic Union School District community are immensely proud of the hard work and determination displayed by these young innovators,” the release said.
The Leopard Bots will also partake in postseason play, albeit not as a qualifier.
Looking ahead, coaches Lara Frandzel and Jackson Strahs are already contemplating program expansion for the upcoming year.