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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Big Win for Dual Language & Arts Magnet Middle School

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On Saturday, November 14th, two Lego Robotics teams from Dual Language & Arts Magnet Middle School placed first in their specific team projects categories and moved onto the next round of the competition. The annual “Bash @ The Beach” regional Lego Robotics competition was held at Lyme-Old Lyme High School and had eighteen teams all competing for the honor to advance to the statewide championships held in December. Fini McGlinchy has been the Robotics coach since the team was formed last winter.

The DL&AMMS team “Trash Busters” built a prototype of an autonomous beach cleaning machine and were honored with the first place “Champions Award” which took into consideration the teamwork and overall phases that were put into the making of the machine. The team “Dead Pools” researched a way to reduce student lunch waste by using edible packaging, which was then manufactured by the squad. The team took home the first place “Technical Award.”

Joseph, an 8th grader at DL&AMMS, was the team leader of team Dead Pools and had the responsibility of describing to the technical judges the programming and techniques that they were using to build their product. Each member of the five man team had a responsibility of their own. One was a builder, another was a programmer and so on.

“We were super excited,” Joseph said. “We felt like after we won, that we could do anything we wanted. We could go all the way in this competition.”

When asked how his team felt after the victory, Joseph replied, “Excited and tired. We kept moving up and down in the standings throughout the day and people were getting discouraged. My team and I tried to keep everyone moving forward and keep getting better throughout the day.”

“This is a huge moment for the school,” said Principal Christina Chamberlain. “It validates the student’s talents. They worked so hard and their efforts paid off. It challenges the boys and girl’s self-perception, and gets them thinking that this might be something that they want to do in life.”

Joseph says that the team is already working on new things and coming up with better ideas for the next competition, which they are very excited about, along with the families of the team members.

“We were so happy to see so many parents and families join their students at the competition supporting the students,” said Lynne Ramage, Magnet Theme Coach. “Students and families gave up their whole day to dedicate themselves to this competition. There was huge support all around.”

The teams will be competing on December 5th at the statewide competition in Shelton, CT. The DL&AMMS robotics teams were created last year with support from a Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. 

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