On Sunday, March 17th Washington finally held their FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championships. Swerve had 5 teams at the event – 2 FLL and 3 FTC all competing at the same time! In addition, we have two closely affiliated teams that students from FTC 417 SKID have been mentoring that were also competing. The results of the day were incredible!

The FLL teams were very successful – Squeaky Wheels our most veteran FLL team won a project award and our very own Night Gnomes won the Innovation award for their project and have been invited to compete in the Global Innovation award competition! This is no small deal and we are very excited for these little Gnomes.

The FTC teams also had a good day, all three of our FTC teams were selected to participate in the Elimination rounds on separate alliances. In addition, our friends from Woodinville High School – the 11970 Titanium Talons – were also selected to play on an alliance in the elimination matches. Every one of the 4 alliances had a team from Woodinville on it! Our home town was well represented. In the end, only one alliance was able to win the game and it turned out to be our very own 8923 – Perpetual Velocity that took the game. 6220 Centripetal was on the finalist alliance and the other two teams, 11970 and 417 SKID were eliminated.

When it came time for the awards, we knew that 417 was not eligible for the Inspire Award as they had recently won it in British Columbia and had already secured a spot a the World Championships. So, we hoped that our other two teams would be nominated for awards. In the end, 6220 won the Collins Innovate Award and 417 won the Motivate Award.

Now we have two of our 4 FTC teams that have advanced to the World Championships and we are preparing for travel to Houston TX in mid-April. In addition, 417 is raising money (would you like to help them??) to pay for their travel to Botswana where they will be providing a group of up to 40 teachers a “boot camp” experience to introduce them to FIRST LEGO League as we start the program in Botswana. Please join us in congratulating our teams on a very great day!