Robostars is a FIRST LEGO League team from King Abdullah the Second School for Excellence (KASSE) which is located in Irbid, Jordan. Our team competed in FIRST LEGO League competitions since 2012, with two generations of team members. Our first generation team took part in one World Festival, whereas the second generation team took part in two World Festivals. Robostars’ journey includes two Champion’s awards at the national level in Jordan, two Champion’s awards at the Arab Regional level and lastly, in our last FIRST LEGO League season in 2017 (Animal Allies), the team has ended their legacy by winning the Champion’s award in Houston, Texas.
How did you come together as a team?
Throughout the years, Robostars consisted of students from different grade levels at KASSE. Each year, the team makes sure to recruit new members in order to keep the team going. We mainly achieved this by holding courses on FIRST LEGO League subjects so that students can become a part of Robostars.
What did you do after FIRST LEGO League?
Most of our retired team members have gone on to help and share their experience in FIRST LEGO League with other teams and also spread knowledge about the FIRST LEGO League itself. Thanks to the lifelong skills and valuable experiences which our team members have gained during FIRST LEGO League seasons, they were all able to go on and do extremely well in whatever subject they took in college.
What is one unique thing about your team?
A star is the brightest in the darkest nights. Our team has faced numerous obstacles during FIRST LEGO League seasons, especially when talking about financial support knowing that our school is a public school and it wasn’t that easy to cover international and regional competitions fees. Therefore, when our team’s participation isn’t confirmed till the day before the competition starts ( it happened….twice) or when a laptop totally crashes at the last moment or even if your robot fails at the competition, we only knew that it is during situations like these that a champion is decided. So it was literally “more than robots” since at Robostars it was always a challenge to keep going and we only knew that we must keep persisting to the fullest whether it’s a yes in the end or a no which might mean missing an entire FIRST LEGO League season.
Despite all of what we have been through during our journey in FIRST LEGO League – the ups and downs, the laughs, and disappointments, it has definitely brought us closer not only as a team but also as friends outside the FIRST LEGO League.
A star is the brightest in the darkest nights.
Which FIRST LEGO League season was your favorite, and why?
The Animal Allies 2016-2017 season. In that season we have managed to compete in the national , regional and international competitions even though we weren’t Champion’s at our nationals. This particular season was very exciting and challenging in the same time. The project was so much fun to work on and the robot game had several types of missions. Also, our robot run that year was a step up from previous years and it was “very exciting to watch” as one of the referees commented on it. You can have a look at it in this video.
Although during our first two World Festival participations, we didn’t manage to win any awards, in our third and last one, in the Animal Allies season, we went home with many awards (Champion’s award first place and Robot performance award second place). In addition, a coach’s award went to our amazing coach Saed Altiti). This was a rewarding experience to end with since it is a very honorable achievement on a national, regional and international level. As a result, our team attracted a lot of attention from the media. We met with our country’s queen, and our school was honored by our country’s king. We were able to send a clear message to our societies and the global community of what Jordanians are capable of.
What is something unique or memorable about your robot or a tip you want to share?
An excellent robot run is the one that perfectly balances between mechanical design, programming and strategy. No matter how well your robot/attachment design is, it will still probably fail at the competition if it’s not efficiently programmed. One of the most common mistakes teams make is that they get distracted by the amount of points they would achieve in a perfect run whereas they would overshadow reliability and effectiveness.
Share some tips about the doing the research project
We believe that a project’s idea is considered to be a crucial point in the success of any project. This is why we make sure that before settling on the final idea we conduct lots and lots of research, interview specialists and discuss between team members. For instance, choosing a problem that directly impacts your own society/neighborhood can be quite helpful; this way the team will be truly inspired to work out an innovative and efficient solution. Also, studying the project rubrics at the beginning of the season can give you a step ahead.
Share some tips about Core Values
Being friends inside and outside the team is always a plus. At competitions always remember that you have already done a good job to be at this event and that you are here to enjoy your time, present and share your work, and communicate with other teams. Even if things don’t end up going as planned just think of it as a lesson to be learnt for next time, this way you can never “lose” or “not win” and eventually you will improve as a team and get there.
Even if things don’t end up going as planned just think of it as a lesson to be learnt for next time, this way you can never “lose” or “not win” and eventually you will improve as a team and get there.
What is something you wish you knew when you started out in FIRST LEGO League?
Here are some important reminders:
- Your first and last priority at any FIRST LEGO League event/season is to truly have fun while learning.
- The importance of balancing your work on all aspects of FLL and not to overshadow judging rooms.
- If you want to step up your game a bit, you must give it the suitable time and effort it needs.
- The importance of clear communication with judges.