Spring 2019 Sysmex News - Page 7

This past fall, Quirin Matthys, a Service Engineer in Minneapolis, co-coached a rare all-girls FIRST LEGO League robotics team
which included his daughter Isabel, an 8th grader. FIRST LEGO League is an international robotics competition organized for
elementary through early high school students each fall or early winter. It introduces a scientific and real-world challenge
for teams to focus and do research on and this year’s theme was “Hydrodynamics.” Sysmex America provided financial
sponsorship for this female team of budding engineers for the 2017 season due to the focus on technology and innovation.
The team, H2Robo, was made up of eight girls between 11-14 years of age who trained for a minimum of five hours per week
with multiple coaches learning advanced technology and teamwork. The robotics competition included four areas, each being
25% of their total score:
1.Creation and demonstration of a team project explaining how to apply technology to solve a real-world problem – to find,
transport, use or dispose of water. H2Robo’s project was a small add-on to a shower head that output a tone when 15
gallons of water had been used, then every 5 gallons after that to help monitor and keep the user aware of water usage.
They determined this could be used commercially at venues like hotels as well as in homes.
2.Learning and promoting FIRST LEGO League Core Values, which included working to find solutions with guidance
from their coaches and mentors, honoring the spirit of friendly competition, displaying gracious professionalism and
cooperation in everything they did, and focusing on discovery over winning.
3.A robotics competition where they spent a great deal of time. They spent a great deal of time learning to build and
program LEGO EV3 Robots to complete specific missions on a specially designed field in a determined time frame in front
of judges, other teams and fans. This required design and testing, organizational skills, mechanical engineering, and lots of
4.The H2Robo team’s robot and robotics programming were evaluated closely by industry professionals. The team explained
how they came up with their robot design, why they programed it particular ways for specific missions, and relayed testing
methods as well as their idea logbook to judges for feedback. This allowed judges to examine and question their methods
and procedures, and required the team to answer their challenges.
H2Robo received the 5th highest score for the robotics competition section out of 66 teams AND the team was awarded
the Most Innovative Robot Design trophy! This competition season required growth in communication skills, creative design,
innovative thinking, and resourcefulness. It proved to have a high learning curve, but it was a fantastic experience for all.


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