Nerd Herd Robotics Team

Nerd Herd members (left to right) coach Mike Powers, Andrew Gerstenslager, Jonathan Kindig, Andy Powers, Dominic Hammer, Emma Powers, Rachael Kindig and coach Mike Studer hold up their trophy.

Romich Foundation
provided a grant to
FIRST Lego League, Team #10078, The Nerd Herd.

Robotics team takes first at district competition

(Article from The Post

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 3:00 am | Updated: 7:16 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

Posted on January 16, 2013
by Britny Kutuchief

Exceeding even their own expectations, the Nerd Herd, a local First Lego League robotics team, took the first place trophy at the District Competition hosted by the University of Akron on Jan. 12-13.

The Nerd Herd team includes Chippewa Middle School students Rachael and Jonathan Kindig and Andrew Gerstenslager as well as Sts. Peter and Paul students Emma and Andy Powers and Dominic Hammer. Thirty area teams competed for the chance to move on to state competition to be held Feb. 9-10 at Wright State University in Dayton.

Eight teams advanced. The two-day competition involved a presentation reflecting research on Senior Solutions, a topic that explores the aging process and how it affects a senior’s ability to maintain his or her lifestyle. The team developed the “PillPal,” a device used to help seniors remember to take their medication. In addition, teams build robots and are given missions to program into the robot to reflect the topic.

The Nerd Herd’s robot, Bessie, had to perform three rounds carrying out missions in two and a half minutes to score points. Bessie’s first round was shaky, placing the team 19th going into round two.

The Herd went back to the pits, made their adjustments and had a strong round two, moving into fourth place. The team finished fifth after the robot competition, but final placements are decided on a combination of robotics, research and presentation points.

The Herd was confident. “The judges loved our presentation,” said Hammer. It wasn’t until the Nerd Herd was given the final, first place trophy did the team realize just how good they did. Rachael Kindig and Emma Powers could only say they were “shocked” at placing first. Assistant coach Mike Studer said he was “confident the team would place, but wasn’t expecting first,” as the Herd is a rookie team.

Coach Mike Powers added, “FLL provides a great way to show the kids that the math, science and English skills they are currently learning in school have very real applications.”



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