Local Students Win First Place in World FLL Robotics Competition - 6/14/2017

Local Students Win First Place in World FLL Robotics Competition-6/14/2017

In February, SUNY Poly hosted a FLL (First Lego League) robotics competition. Twenty-four teams from all over the area competed in robot game, robot design, project, project presentation, and core values. Each year, teams are given a robotics challenge to tackle and a real world problem to attempt to solve. This year’s challenge was “Animal Allies.” The "Aztech Warriors," consisting of Sean Arnold (Marcy), Hayden Flinchum (Boonville), and Caleb Lisowski (Boonville) placed second, and were therefore eligible to compete in the “Worlds Invitational” held at Legoland, California. Two members of the team (Sean and Hayden), accompanied by their coach (Sean Arnold Sr.), travelled to California, and competed against 79 other teams at “Worlds,” May 19-21. Teams from as far away as Japan, South Korea, and Brazil competed. The Aztech Warriors won first place in project presentation. The team’s project championed the Komodo Dragons. Komodo Dragons live on a small group of islands in Indonesia. They are an endangered species whose life span in captivity is nearly half of what it is in the wild. The team sought to find a solution to this problem in two ways. The first part of the solution involved raising awareness of the Dragon’s plight, and hopefully bringing a Komodo Dragon to a local zoo. In November, the team travelled to the Bronx Zoo and met with Donal Boyer, the species survival specialist, to learn what they could about helping these animals. The second part of the solution focused on ways to keep a Komodo Dragon active and cerebrally stimulated once in captivity. This was achieved by creating a changing habitat. The Aztech Warriors, who have been working to qualify for national competition for the past six years, thank FLL, Pearl Yuseff of the Utica Zoo, and all other experts who helped on the team’s journey. Flinchum, a 10th grader at Adirondack Central School, is the son of Heather Nunneker and Eric Flinchum. Arnold, a 9th grader at Whitesboro High School, is the son of Sean and Tammy Arnold. Lisowski, who was unable to attend the World Invitational, is an 8th grader at Adirondack Central. He is the son of Cherene and Bob Lisowski.