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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 6:47 am | Fair 48º


Local Team Wins Grand Prize at Robotics Tournament

The Da Vincibles bring home the Champions Award in addition to three category awards

The Da Vincibles, a robotic team from Santa Barbara, competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League Challenge in Camarillo this past Saturday and came out with the Champions Award.

Team members are James Deacon, Julia Deacon, Ciara Giordani, Benjamin Helkey, Kyle Kovacs and Chloe Shott. The coaches are Craig Shott, Janet Deacon and John Deacon.

The team began the road to success in March, and the coaches have been planning since January.

The Champions Award is the most prestigious award a team can win in FLL. It celebrates the ultimate success of the FIRST mission and the FLL core values.

The champions were recognized for their passion to inspire and motivate others about the excitement of science and technology, problem solving, working as a team, and demonstrating respect and gracious professionalism. The Champions Award is based on all four areas of competition equally: teamwork, project, robot design and robot performance.

Every September for the last 11 years, FLL releases a Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic. Each Challenge has two parts: the robot game and the project. Teams participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (robot game) and by developing a solution to a problem they have identified (project).

This year’s theme was bioengineering. Through the 2010 Body Forward Challenge, FLL teams explore the cutting-edge world of biomedical engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions and maximize the body’s potential, with the intended purpose of leading happier and healthier lives.

Not only did The Da Vincibles LEGO robot, which they have affectionately named The Mona Roba, score the most points out of all the other 36 teams’ robots, they also won first place for robot design, second place for their research project and seventh place for teamwork.

The judges said so many nice things about The Da Vincibles as the awards were being presented, but what is unique about this team is that only two of them attend the same school. They met through different outside interests and have really hit it off as teammates and friends. They started sharing their individual biomedical research with one another in March. They started getting together for field trips in May, and started holding regular robotic meetings in June. The months and months of research, attending 13 biomedical related-field trips, and the hours and hours of LEGO robotic work really paid off.

They are headed to the Los Angeles Region FLL Championship Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 18. This contest serves Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. The overall winner of the Champions Award most likely will qualify to compete at the FIRST LEGO World Festival in St. Louis, Mo. on April 27-30, 2011.

— Cheryl Giordani represents The Da Vincibles.

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