DL&AMMS Robotics: A Legacy of Success

DL&AMMS Robotics: A Legacy of Success
Traffic Cones

Two Dual Language & Arts Magnet Middle School (DL&AMMS) Robotics teams are set to return to the state championship competition in December, continuing a legacy of excellence that has become a hallmark of the school.

DL&AMMS is sending two teams to the FIRST LEGO League Championship on Saturday, December 7, at Shelton High School. Both the Traffic Cones and the Blight Knights teams excelled in the regional qualifying competitions held on November 16. The Traffic Cones won the “Robot Design” award at the Elm City Robo Fest qualifier in New Haven. The Blight Knights won the “Against All Odds” award at the qualifier held at Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, where a third DL&AMMS team – the Backstreet Girlz – also competed.

LEARN operates DL&AMMS, an interdistrict magnet school for grades 6-8 located in Waterford. The Robotics Club is one of the school’s most popular extracurricular activities and has become a source of pride. Uniting students from all three grades, the Robotics teams are annually competitive and show remarkable creativity and innovation.

“It is very rewarding to see our teams competing,” said Fini McGlinchey, who co-coaches the Robotics Club with Tony Liss. “They understand the core values and demonstrate them every day. Students are respectful, kind, courteous, and empathetic. I am extremely proud of all the team members. They stepped it up and it showed!”

Each year, the FIRST LEGO League presents a design theme for completion. This year’s theme is City Shapers, which inspired the DL&AMMS team names. The theme challenges teams to think like scientists and civil engineers to solve a real-world problem facing cities, all using LEGO parts to build their units. The teams create the concepts and use code to command their robots.

For inspiration, DL&AMMS reached out to the New London Office of Development and Planning. The Office offered insight on what types of engineering issues face a city.

The team projects demonstrated high levels of creativity and problem solving. The Backstreet Girlz created a pneumatic system to enable senior citizens to remove garbage more easily from an apartment building. The Traffic Cones used pyrolytic graphite to style a modified magnetic levitation system on the bottom of vehicles and a slot car type central rail. The Blight Knights, meanwhile, designed a concept to transport contaminants from a brownfield, which would enable the conversion of a local Hempstead Street property into a neighborhood park.

Prior to the qualifying competitions, DL&AMMS presented their designs to New London Mayor Michael Passero on November 1 in City Hall Council Chambers. Each team demonstrated their robots and explained why New London residents would benefit from their capabilities.

The students and their coaches are excited about the upcoming championship competition and LEARN is proud of the legacy of success being built at DL&AMMS. Good luck to the both teams as they meet the next challenge!

The Blight Knights
The Blight Knights (pictured here) and the Traffic Cones (pictured above)
will represent DL&AMMS at the FIRST LEGO League Championship.

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