Hundreds of students in grades four through seven were on Fairmont State University campus over the weekend to participate in the second annual Mountain State Invitational, a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) international competition.
With 62 teams from 11 different countries, the Falcon Center was filled the entire weekend with robotics competitions as well as research project presentations and Core Values projects. Teams came from Canada to Chile; from Alaska to Puerto Rico, from Maine to Florida, with the largest concentration from West Virginia.
Todd Ensign, program manager for NASA IV&V Education Resource Center (ERC), said the tournament was an opportunity for teams to expand their FLL projects and programming from the prior season.
Teams were judged on their robot designs, research projects, and implementing core values all while focusing on the theme “Into Orbit.”
Fairmont State President Mirta Martin said it was her privilege to spend the weekend on campus with those participating in the tournament.
“I hope as they return back to their states, regions and countries they take with them the fond memories they have made here at Fairmont State University,” she said. “I have great hope for this generation and I think that hope is justified from looking across the stage. These students have distinguished themselves as what the founding fathers explained as Gracious Professionalism.”
The winners of the various awards are as follows:
- The VERY special Volunteer Award: Paul Kritschgau
- Coach/Mentor Award: Hansel Pena, starlords
- Coach/Mentor Award: Mary Lee, St. Claire Transformers
- The Judges Award for All Star Rookie: C.R.A.B (Cool Robots and Builders)
- The Judges Award for All Star Rookie: Creative Techno
- First Place Project Research Award: Primoris Lions
- Second Place Project Research Award: Soaring Robotics
- First Place Innovative Solution Award: Moosebots
- Second Place Innovative Solution Award: TechKnow Fury
- First Place Project Presentation Award: Cosmic Cuddlers
- Second Place Project Presentation Award: R2D2
- First Place Robot Mechanical Design Award: STARLORDS
- Second Place Robot Mechanical Design Award: SESI Technorob Evolution
- First Place Robot Design Programming Award: Space Whales
- Second Place Robot Design Programming Award: Thunder-Bots Robotics
- First Place Robot Design Strategy & Innovation Award: StarStruck
- Second Place Robot Design Strategy & Innovation Award: Bac-Off
- Winning Alliance Award: Crusaders Robotics and Bac-Off
- First Place Robot Performance Award: StarStruck
- Second Place Robot Performance Award: Gametech
- Third Place Robot Performance Award: STARLORDS
- First Place Core Values Inspiration Award: The Magically Energized Lightning Waffle Bunnies
- Second Place Core Values Inspiration Award: Jarvis Challengers
- First Place Core Values Teamwork Award: Brainy Yaks
- Second Place Core Values Teamwork Award: The G.O.A.T.s
- First Place Core Values Gracious Professionalism Award: Robotic Rebels
- Second Place Core Values Gracious Professionalism Award: C3PO
- First Place Champion’s Award: Gametech
- Second Place Champion’s Award: Lego of Olympus
- Third Place Champion’s Award: LEGO Legion
The mission of the Mountain State Invitational is to showcase the best West Virginia has to offer, an invitational tournament in the Eastern regions of the United States, and to increase interaction between teams in the Americas (North, Central, and South). Coming from one of the poorest states in the nation, they also know that the cost of attending an event of this caliber is often cost prohibitive, so they strive to be the most affordable FLL Invitational in the world.