Of the 15 teams from Juneau, Skagway and Hoonah that met Sunday at Centennial Hall for the second annual Juneau Robot Jamboree, Skagway took home the top honor - winning first for the Champion's Award, second in Robot Performance and first in Teamwork, as well as the Coach of the Year award, which went to Karl Klupar.
Teams spent six hours moving through the four elements of the competition: Robot Performance, Robot Design, a Research Presentation on problems posed by climate and a Teamwork Challenge. Students cheered as their robots met success and disaster on the competition table. In separate sessions, teams answered tough questions from judging panels that included professional engineers, University professors, nonprofit and education leaders.
The Jamboree is an official For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League Tournament hosted by the Juneau Economic Development Council. FIRST is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to getting kids excited about science and technology. The FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 9- to 14-year-old children, created in a partnership between FIRST and The LEGO Group.
The two Champion's Award winners are offered the opportunity to compete in the statewide FIRST LEGO League Tournament in Anchorage on Jan. 17. Winners at the statewide tournament will have the opportunity to compete at either the World Festival in Atlanta, Ga., or at the U.S. Open to be held at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Special thanks to the team of volunteers that made the event a success, the coaches and mentors that dedicated so many hours to preparing their teams and to all of the students that participated and consistently inspired all of the adults involved.