Fall 2016 LEGO Robotics Tournament Results

teams together

Ready to Rumble!

Hello NWSA Families and Friends!


On Saturday, November 12th, our FIRST LEGO League Robotics teams competed in the Virginia-DC state qualifying tournament for the 2016 #AnimalAllies season at McKinley Tech High School in Washington, DC. Our three teams, The Mind Storms, The Rainbow Robot Girls, and The LEGO Destroyers saved their best performances of the year for the big show and competed extraordinarily well in the face of stiff competition from 24 other middle- and elementary school-aged teams.


First match of the day

Second match

Second match

Judges' Award

The Rainbow Robot Girls received the coveted “Judges’ Award”

We are extremely proud of their effort, composure and spirit that they showed. Each team reached a season high score in the Robot Game. In addition, The Rainbow Robot Girls earned the coveted Judges Award for being the team with the most consistent scores across all three judging areas. This award is often a prelude to a team advancing to the state tournament or even the World tournament in future years. Good things are yet to come, ladies!

Technical Judging

Discussing the technical aspects of their robot with the judges

True Grit

Showing true grit!


Solving their first mission

Our teams clearly impressed many of the judges. Here is a sample of comments from the Research Project, Core Value and Robot Design judging scoresheets:

• “Worked well together. Definite team leader, but everyone contributed.”
• “Respected each other and their strengths and weaknesses.”
• “Very good problem identification. Next time expand research and explore existing solutions.”
• “Creative use of the base robot to activate the food release.”
• “Very good job identifying a solution to a problem that is not widely discussed.”
• “Team effort with great enthusiasm.”
• “Solution was very clever.”
• “Great enthusiasm about your robot and forward thinking. Good understanding of future goals.”


The Core Values of FLL encourage sharing ideas and meeting new friends. Our teams made a conscious effort to reach out to many of the other teams hailing from all over the city and northern Virginia by visiting their booths, asking questions about their projects and sharing “swaps” and candy treats.


Sharing candy and swaps with other teams






Sharing with other coaches

We had a great time and learned a lot about FIRST Lego League and working together. We want to thank the folks at Virginia-DC FIRST who organized the tournament and Mr. Kenneth Lesley and his team at McKinley Tech for sharing their wonderful facility with us. We also want to thank all the family and friends who came to support our students. We also send a special shout out to the parents who got everyone where they needed to be on time and showed patience throughout that long, long day. We could also never forget our wonderful and dedicated team mentors, Mr. Carlis, Ms. Wotten and Ms. Luoma.


Practicing between rounds – Team learn more on the day of the event than they do the rest of the season combined.

FIRST LEGO League is designed to inspire the dreams of our future engineers, scientists and coders. I hope that parents take every opportunity to expose their children to STEM learning. Like other skills in life, the more you do it, the better you become. I would love to see our teams return in tact next season to build on everything that they learned this year and advance to more sophisticated programming and engineering techniques.

setting up

Setting up for a round

Final match

Final match of the day

Be on the look-out for news about our upcoming Spring semester programming where students will explore Scratch programming and our rigorous Math Circles! Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Christopher Alexander
Founder, NW Saturday Academy

P.S.: What do you do after a long day of competing with robots and science??

Dance, of course!

Click for video

Click for video