Monday, April 6, 2009


Team 95 Robotics, including two HHS seniors, sent a team to a regional robotics competition in Hartford CT on March 26-28. Team 95, made up of students from several Upper Valley high schools, has competed for years in meets organized by the national science organization FIRST. Coach Joe Jones of Lebanon High School writes: "This year's competition was called Lunacy. The competition simulated low gravity (in recognition of the first lunar landing 40 years ago) by using low friction wheels on a low friction playing field. Points are scored by placing balls (moonrocks) into an opponent's trailer.

"Our programmers, Sam Kovaka and Nick Sinnot-Armstrong (an HHS senior), worked into the early hours of Friday morning to repair the code and get the robot to run on a level that would make us competitive. Eric Gleiser, Delaney Granizo-Mackenzie (an HHS senior) and Noah Johnson prepared the story board and used a variety of software, including 3DS Max, an Autodesk product, to render the animation. The team received two trophies for this effort, and the animation will continue to compete against other entries at a national level."

Photos by Nick Sinnott-Armstrong. Links: FIRST and Team 95.
FIRST means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST describes itself as "a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be. It challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard 'kit of parts' and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions designed by a committee of engineers and other professionals.

"FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last."