10 Tooth Gear Showcases Innovation in Youth STEM Competition
Waukesha, WI — 10 Tooth Gear, a FIRST® Lego League Team made up of 10 homeschooled students from Southeast Wisconsin, has advanced to compete against over 100 other teams from around the world (from over 50 countries) at FIRST® World Championship, to be held April 24 – 27 in Detroit, MI.
FIRST® LEGO League teams around the world build robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology and program those robots to complete missions on a game-field in 2.5-minute competitions. They also develop research projects based on a real-world challenge that changes annually. This year’s theme, Into Orbit, allowed teams to explore challenges associated with living in space. 10 Tooth Gear chose to tackle the problem of the muscle atrophy and bone density loss that astronauts experience while in space. Team members researched current strategies used by NASA and met with experts, including a chiropractor, physical therapist, engineer, and NASA scientist, in order to develop an exoskeleton, called WYRE (Wear Your Resistance Exoskeleton), which could be worn by astronauts in space to counteract the effects of microgravity.
In its second year as a team, 10 Tooth Gear includes seven veteran and three first-year members, ranging in ages from 9 to 14 years old. Over 300 teams began the season by competing in FIRST® Lego League Wisconsin regional competitions! Despite being a relatively new team, 10 Tooth Gear was nominated for several awards at both the Mukwonago Regional and the Mukwonago Sectional competitions. They earned top robot performance score and won the prestigious Champion’s Award at both events. The team’s success at those levels helped them advance to the state competition. On February 23, the team competed at the WI State Championship in Cleveland, WI, and was again nominated for several awards. They took home the Teamwork award, received 2nd place robot performance score, and were one of two Wisconsin teams invited to compete at World Championship in April.
Through all the work on their project, presentation, and robot, the young men and women of 10 Tooth Gear took time to celebrate the core values of FIRST® through outreach in their communities, where they shared their love of robotics with other youth in an effort to help kids discover a passion for STEM.
The team is currently preparing for their trip to Detroit by honing their presentation skills, improving their exoskeleton prototype, and working to secure funding for trip expenses. They will host a Homeschool Used Book Sale on Saturday, April 6 and a Bricks & Bowling fundraiser on Sunday, April 14. A gofundme page has also been set up HERE. If you would like to find out more about this team or support them as they prepare for their journey to Worlds, please visit them. These young innovators are appreciative of the generosity and support they have received so far this season and realize their success would not have been possible without it.