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Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Area LEGO team takes first in Tampa Tourney

RIVERVIEW - The Energy Elites, a LEGO team made up of eighth-graders from the greater Brandon area, took first place recently in the Tampa FIRST LEGO League Regional Competition. Not only will the team advance to the state championship, but it also was awarded the Championship Award at the tournament. This award is given to the team with the best overall robot performance score, research presentation, technical design, and teamwork skills. The eighth-grade regional champion team includes Darrian Bagley, from Burns Middle School in Brandon; Graham Peterson, from Immanuel Lutheran School in Brandon; Michael Schutte, from Randall Middle School in Lithia; Daniel Brown, from Stewart Middle Magnet School in Tampa; and Joshua LeGrande, from Mann Middle School in Brandon. The FIRST LEGO League competition season began with 430 teams in Florida seeking solutions to food contamination and programming robots to gain as many points as possible in 2.5 minutes.
The Energy Elites competed against 32 teams gathered from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties along with two international teams, to garner one of ten slots allotted for the state championship. The Energy Elites, which practices at Tech Playzone in Riverview, worked tirelessly to design and program their NXT Mindstorms Robot to get as many points as possible, said coach Desh Bagley. Team members sought out experts and went on field trips to gather research about fish contamination. They developed an innovative solution to improve bio-filtration for fish farmers. "They have a theory that the bacteria that grows on bio media (a small piece of plastic) should grow faster, so it can filter more bacteria in a shorter period of time. They presented that as part of the research portion of the competition," Bagley said. The team will head to the state championship at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne on Sunday. For more information, visit: www.flrobotics.org, or contact Bagley at (813) 453-8612. From staff reports
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