A team of Creekside Middle School students has advanced to state competition in the First Lego League Challenge with their project designed to turn compost into biofuel.
The Biobots team of seventh-graders, led by teacher Kristina Hermansson, will compete at the state level in January after earning the Robot Design award Dec. 10 at a regional qualifying event at Rockford Christian School.
“This team works really well together. As a group, they set goals and then used their interests and talents to split up the work,” Hermansson said. “I couldn't ask for a better group of young adults to facilitate through this very challenging FLL season.”
The team is composed of: Jainee Dave, Bryce Schwanke, Simon Baker, Dexter Parisi, Jorge Ramos, Rafael Martinez, Vic Anthony Perez, Brookelynn Males and Jynessa Madsen.
First Lego League teams are judged based on the creativity and innovation of their project, their cooperation level as a team and robot design. The robots are given a series of tasks on a game board and programmers must make adjustments to perform those tasks and earn points in competition.
Team member Jainee Dave described the overall concept behind the Biobots project.
“The problem with energy is that there are so many possible ways to create it and so much waste,” she said, adding that biofuel from compost is a good source of energy but said there is work involved to get the material suitable for conversion into fuel.
“To make people more inclined to be eco-friendly, we made a compost sorter to make people’s lives easier.”
Compost goes into a shoot and is sorted by scanners that identify the materials that could be converted into energy.
Team member Rafael Martinez said they researched the plans for the sorter including speaking with experts and what kind of scanner can identify the items with the carbon needed for fuel.
“The stuff that can be turned into energy will be sent to a facility,” he said.
Teammate Brookelynn Males said she’s been impressed with how the members of Biobots worked together and made it fun. Snacks were a big part of team bonding.
“We had our disagreements. I’m not gonna lie and say we didn’t, but we came together and we did what needed to be done,” she said.