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MSSD Botball Team Wins Two Awards at Regional Tournament

botballThe MSSD Botball Team won two awards at the Annual Greater D.C. Regional Botball Robotic Tournament April 18. The Greater DC Regional Botball Program is Botball's largest region with 40 to 60 teams competing every year. MSSD won the Judge's Choice Trophy and the "Spirit of Botball" award.

Botball (the name a combination of "roBOT" and "BALL") is a hands-on learning experience in robotics that challenges students to make use of practical applications of science and math. Each competing team receives a kit containing the exact same LEGO parts. "Botball's educational goals include technology awareness, engineering, C programming, internet research, design skills, and creativity," said MSSD science teacher Mark Tao.

This year, the tournament game topic was "Robots Going Green". Students designed, built, programmed and documented a pair of autonomous (no remote control) robots to play in this year's open-ended game. The theme of the game was "Alternative Energy".

NASA uses autonomous robots in space and planetary exploration. NASA has sponsored Botball for over ten years as a way to encourage a pool of young people interested in pursuing robotics as a future career. Botball gives students the experience of creating hands-on projects and developing relevant computer language, and thinking and presentation skills. MSSD's Botball team participation is supported through a grant from the District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium.

Members of the MSSD Botball team are Muujgii Jargalsaikhan, Joseph Mosley, Camac Kyre, and Tyler Jacobson and mentors Mark Tao from MSSD and Dr. David Snyder from Gallaudet. MSSD placed 15th in the double elimination competition out of 42 teams from 37 area schools.