Twenty Four teams came to participate in the Raider’s Rumble this year, an annual FLL
robotics competition held in the MVMMS auditorium on December tenth. FLL, also known as
the First Lego League, is a worldwide robotics program for elementary and middle schoolers.
They compete in yearly competitions, with a new challenge to face each year, this theme being
Animal Allies. Teams are required to build and program a Mindstorms Lego robot and create a
project on the assigned theme.
Jon Morris chair Director of STEM 6-12 curriculum opened the ceremony by noting the
huge transformation that is going on in today’s society and how Melrose High School has
recently surged ahead in building skills in our students. With the recently opened “Learning
Centers”, access to in-house 3D printers, and a revamped curriculum, “we are helping assure that
Melrose High School Students are learning at one of the most progressive schools in Eastern
Front row left-right: Emily Giovanardi, Sam O’Donnell, Matteo Giovanardi, Susie
Top row left-right: Ben O’Donnell, Timmy Rosell, Ronan Melville
The Lego Lords, one of the teams representing Melrose comprised of all Hoover School
students and alumni, competed in the Raider’s Rumble this year. Their project was based on
service dog fraud, which occurs when people illegally disguise their ordinary pets as service
dogs. After conducting research, the team concluded that service animals should be required to
wear vests with a unique QR code that is linked to a nationwide database, thereby allowing
indisputable proof of an animal’s status.
The team won the research award, meaning they included a variety of sources in their
project and displayed a complex understanding of the problem they researched. Additionally the
team qualified for the state competition, held at Newton High school on December 17. The team
advanced based on the high scores they received across all three disciplines of the competition,
which includes teamwork, research project, and robot design. Teams from all over
Massachusetts competed along with the Lego Lords, showing off their skills in programming,
performing, and working as a team.
Lego Lords at States:
The team yet again proved their worth by taking home an award at their first appearance
at the state level. FLL highly values effort, teamwork, streamlined robot design and the like. It
is NOT about who had the highest scores but rather recognition of quality of work. In that
regard the Lego Lords were awarded the “Judges Award” for being a team who demonstrates
FLL values of teamwork and respect by working extremely well together during the ‘Core
Values’ evaluation. At the end of the event teams were paired up in alliances for what is called
the “lightning rounds”, where the two teams had to collaborate on what missions each robots
would run to score higher points with each other’s help. The way the Lego Lords met with and
strategized with their partner team to prepare proved their worth in winning the award. Not only
did they strategize but they even succeeded in last minute changes to help the alliance score a
few more points. Their attitude embodied the FLL approach to the days’ experience; it was
collaborative and at the end of their match the teams celebrated together.
Pictured: The team checking over scores following a successful round at the state competition.