Middle school robotics team wins state, competes in international tournament

Published on May 23, 2023
Members of the team Artificial Intelligence smile with their first place trophy at the Minnesota State Championship.

FIRST Lego League Robotics Team #41748 won the Championship Award for the second year in a row at the Minnesota State Championship in February, sending the team to the international FIRST Championship last month. 

The team, named Artificial Intelligence, is made up of five eighth-graders, including OGM students Braeden Armstong Johnson, Omera Syed Asif, and Ben Yehl-Kennard. They competed among over 50,000 teams from around the world in the 2022-23 season, with the top 108 teams advancing to the international event. The team’s robot, Rainbot, scored 410 out of 415 points, earning the highest score in the Western Hemisphere and the second highest at the tournament.

This year’s theme, Superpowered, focused on energy. The competition included a robot game where teams designed robots for energy consumption and storage, an innovation project in which students identified, researched and designed a solution to improve an energy journey, and demonstration of the core values: discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun. 

For their innovation project, Artificial Intelligence developed a green energy solution to address the issue of sustainable solar energy storage. The design featured a residential mini-grid of 1,000 houses with rooftop solar panels and a centralized green hydrogen fuel cell to store excess solar energy. Throughout the project, the team conducted research and consulted with professionals to refine their proposals.

FIRST Lego League introduces students to real-world engineering challenges by inviting them to conduct research projects and build LEGO based autonomous robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations, discover exciting career possibilities and learn to make positive contributions to society.