Dear Decaturish – ‘Scrap Dragons’ looking forward to Lego League competition

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 29, 2016
The Scrap Dragons.

The Scrap Dragons.

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Dear Decaturish,

We are the Scrap Dragons, a Robotics team from the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue in Decatur, which includes Anina Ghosal, Cash Luther, Jarrod Wilson, Abe Werner, Thomas Chiu, Nate Helfrich, Nikki Johnson, Frank Banich, and Alexys Fallin. Our coaches are Pam and Bert Bee-Lindgren and Catherine Banich, and Lynn Holden is in charge of the robotics program at F.AVE. This year we all decided to come together and form a team to compete in the 2015-2016 FIRST Lego League competitions.

We had practices at F.AVE and the Maker Space, starting back in September. Our first competition was on Dec. 5 at Grady High School. We advanced to the Super Regional Tournament at Clayton State University, which was held on Jan. 9. At super-regionals, we won the award for Robot Design: Strategy and Innovation, and we advanced to the State Competition at Georgia Tech this Saturday, Jan. 30.  Ms. Newton, our principal, says she does not remember a Decatur school team of 4th or 5th-graders ever advancing so far.

There are four aspects to the FLL competitions:

– The first is Core Values, and some of those are having fun, coopertition (because we can compete and cooperate at the same time), and teamwork.

– The second aspect is Robot Design.  This is where we show why we chose to design the robot the way we did.

– Another aspect is the Project. This year’s topic is dealing with trash.  We chose to focus our attention on the amount of plastic water bottles being used and thrown away. Specifically, our school does not recycle much plastic at all. Our solution to the problem is you can make arts and crafts out of these water bottles, and making things and having fun is the best way to remember to recycle. We designed and led a class at F.AVE. to teach other students that recycling water bottles is fun if you can make crafts out of them.

– The last aspect is a type of robot obstacle course. We programmed our robot and made attachments to it so that we could get as much done on the table as we could. Each team only has two and a half minutes for their robot to get everything done, and we were able to get 341 points as our high score at the last competition.

Thanks for reading. We’ve had a great time, and we’re very excited to be going to the State competition this Saturday!


Nikki Johnson and Thomas Chiu for the Scrap Dragons

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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