A rookie seventh grade team of six boys and their first-time coach from McKamy Middle School in Flower Mound competed in the North Texas First Lego League Regional Championship Robotics Tournament on Saturday at the Hockaday School in Dallas.
“There were 56 teams who made it to the regional competition—no others from Flower Mound that we know of—and the boys gave it everything they had,” said team coach Christina Henry.
“They were awarded their highest number of points ever; a personal best of 289. Everyone was just thrilled and very proud.”
The competition is for teams aged between 10- to 14-years old. The teammates were Cole Cayard, Carter Henry, Garrett McGee, Saravan Narayanan, Tommy Ward and Garrett Webb.
Henry said that many of the teams had several years of experience and some schools had multiple teams.
“Mansfield had 17 teams,” said Henry. “We were pretty much all on our own. The boys’ families were so supportive and really cheered them on.”
The team began working last September on the three-parts of the competition: Create and complete a project; design a robot to complete missions; and display core values.
The community and natural disaster project solution the team created was a school-response plan to a tornado disaster.
As part of their research, the boys met with the Flower Mound Fire Department’s Battalion Chief and a Lewisville ISD safety and security officer to gain insight. They shared their solution with Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden, Town Manager Jimmy Statathos, Police Chief Andy Kancel, and Fire Chief Eric Metzger.
The team presentation of the project took first place of 38 teams at the Jan. 18 local-level competition held at the Harmon School of Innovation in Ft. Worth.
The McKamy team didn’t have as much success at the regional-level; they failed to place in the top six.
“It was the longest day in the history of the world,” said Henry. “All those teams took a long time, but the boys’ enthusiasm was there. They’re looking forward to competing again next time.”