Junior Robotics League
Started in 2008, Junior Robotics League (JRL), is a 6 week league that is modeled after FIRST Robotics competitions. It is open to Kindergartners through eighth graders, who form teams and build a robot using a VEX Robotics Kit. Team Driven members take part not only in judging and setting up the matches but also in mentoring the teams throughout the season during weekly workshops. Students from Team Driven spend the preceding months creating the game, rules, and field setups. JRL also spreads the word about FIRST Robotics to our community while getting kids interested in STEM and robotics.
GAME NAME: Slapshot
NUMBER OF TEAMS: 40
OBJECTIVE: Teams had to place hockey pucks in low goals under a shelf, or turn the hockey puck sideways to enter it into the high goal. The end game which resulted in bonus points was placing their entire robot on an elevated shelf.
HIGHLIGHTS: This was the first year that two different fields were created. This allowed most matches to occur and sped up the event’s efficiency.
GAME NAME: HighScore
NUMBER OF TEAMS: 34
OBJECTIVE:This pinball themed game required that foam golf balls be scored in tubes that were both inserted in the field at ground level and higher. Teams hung on a rectangular tower, located in the center of the field, at the end of matches to score bonus points.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Technical Communication Award which requires the creation of an Engineering notebook and a presentation to judges at the event was introduced for the first year. There was also a record setting 143 students this year.
GAME NAME: Tower Power
NUMBER OF TEAMS: 30
OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this challenge was to stack “Tetrahedrons”, or 3D triangles, on top of the towers that lit up blue and red based on which alliance had scored most recently. When it was time for the end game the towers glowed green and the robots raced to the top of a steep incline.
HIGHLIGHTS: 33% increase in teams from the previous year. Introduced Founder’s Award which resembles the FIRST Chairman’s Award. The youngest group, The Weebots, happened to catch some attention from the Lee’s Summit Tribune, a local newspaper, who came and followed them through their journey.
GAME NAME: Triple Threat
NUMBER OF TEAMS: 21
OBJECTIVE: The robot had to be capable of manipulating golf balls into bins on the outer edge of the field or onto three moving, elevated racks in the middle of the field.
HIGHLIGHTS: This year had a unique and exciting field. One of the special features was the water contraption in the middle of the field. This particular game had an extremely positive feedback.
GAME NAME: Fastball
NUMBER OF TEAMS: 24
OBJECTIVE: The robot collected balls from pvc pipes that human players fed balls through. The goal was to collect as many balls as possible before dumping them in a goal along the outer edge of the playing field. Several obstacle courses inhibited robots from completely success. There were ping pong ball pits that trapped robots if they did not correctly drive over them. Tennis balls that were cut in half in the middle of the field also caused trouble for robots.
HIGHLIGHTS: Amazingly, this game featured over 700 ping pong balls in the pit.
GAME NAME: Ringmaster
NUMBER OF TEAMS: 17
OBJECTIVE: Teams had to stack rings on a the corner of a large yellow box in the center of the field. Their other option was to put them through slots. They were only able to score with one ring at a time.
HIGHLIGHTS: This year was the first year that Junior Robotics League was started. It was an incredible success as 17 teams participated.