In 2013, Bess Hudson noticed that although there was a well-known FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team in Lowell, Red Arrow Robotics, there was no FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team in the Lowell School District. In response, she started the Alto Arrow Bots. The team started with five members in the first year. As word spread around Alto Elementary, the team’s meeting place, popularity skyrocketed the next year. By 2014 the Alto Arrow Bots had gained a team of nine students out of the 10 maximum, ranging from fourth to seventh grade, so they decided to try a competition that year. The undertaking was immense; Mrs. Hudson was assisted by both Anderson Hudson from the Lowell Robotics Team as a mentor, and parents of the team members.
All of the members of the team learned about the NXT Mindstorms LEGO robot, presenting and researching information, and teamwork skills. The team was incredibly enthusiastic about competition, and all of the members had an amazing experience. In the end, the Alto Arrow Bots won the Presentation Award for their creative skit which was a personification of computer dangers, like viruses. The mentor, Anderson Hudson, also won the Outstanding Young Mentor Award in representation of the Lowell Red Arrow Robotics team. The Alto Arrow Bots could never have gotten as far as they have without their sponsors: the Alto Branch of Kent District Library, Alto Lions Club, Cutting Edge Controls, and of course FRC Team 3234, Lowell Red Arrow Robotics.
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