Raiders Rumble Eastern Massachusetts State Qualifier Hosted by iRaiders

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.