Lake Forest Country Day School (LFCDS) sent LEGO robotics team “Healthy Hippos” to the Illinois FIRST LEGO League State Competition on Saturday, January 17. Hosted at Elgin Community College, the 64-team competition featured teams from across the state competing for an opportunity to advance to a championship tournament.
Team “Healthy Hippos” is composed of seventh-grade students Emilio Alvarez, Scott Skinner, Eva Hanson, Chloe Morrissey, Jackson Kriger, and Johanna Hielscher.
At the state tournament this past Saturday, team “Healthy Hippos” finished in the top ten in the “Core Values” component of the competition.
Measuring teamwork, professionalism, and overall character, the “Core Values” category is a key part of the FIRST LEGO League World Class competition’s judging criteria.
The FLL rewards sound engineering and programming skills; however, it also places a large emphasis on how teams conduct themselves during the competition.
According to the judges, team “Healthy Hippos” demonstrated initiative and team independence with “minimal coach guidance,” engaged with other teams in a positive and encouraging manner, and demonstrated strong time management skills and attention to detail.
These character points landed team “Healthy Hippos” in the finalists’ pool for demonstrating sound “Core Values.”
While the team did not earn enough points to advance to a championship tournament, making it to the state competition is an impressive feat in itself.
The LFCDS STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) Program makes seventh-grade participation in the annual FLL tournament mandatory. However, eighth-grade students are welcome to return to the tournament the following year if they choose to do so.
Team “Healthy Hippos” has already pledged to return for next year’s tournament as eighth-grade students at LFCDS.