THE POST-SIGNAL / Desiray Seaux
The St. Michael Elementary Robotics Team making a presentation to the Rotary Club of Crowley earlier this week includes, first row from left, Ashley Perrodin, Ellie Adams, Jack Viator, Branson Melancon, Benjamin Francis and Gabriel Trahan; second row from left, Adam Signorelli, Liam Link, Thad Bertrand and Cameron Fusilier.
St. Michael’s Robotics Team explains colonization project
CROWLEY - Facing real world engineering problems, members of the St. Michael’s Robotics Team — the SaintBots —are set to take part in the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition at Legoland this May in California.
The group explained their project will be centered on the team’s original idea of creating a Venusian Colony — aka: a colony on the planet Venus — when they spoke to the Rotary Club of Crowley earlier this week.
The 10-member team consists of seventh and eighth grade students.
FIRST is a global organization that encourages imaginative thinking and teamwork to develop tomorrow’s innovators. FLL teams apply science, engineering, and math concepts to create solutions to real-world challenges.
The teams design, build, and program robots to perform autonomous “missions” on a playing field and, along the way, develop critical thinking, team-building, and public speaking skills.
This year’s global challenge is “Into Orbit.” Along with robot building and computer programing, the SaintBots had to identify and solve a real world problem affecting human space travel. They chose to design a human colony/scientific research station that would float in the atmosphere of Venus.
Recently, the team competed in an FLL regional qualifying tournament at the Lafayette Science Museum where they won the overall Grand Champion Award.
This allowed them to participate in the Louisiana State FLL tournament at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, where they placed first in Computer Programming, and 5th overall out of 60 teams, qualifying to compete in the FIRST LEGO League LEGOLAND California International Open in San Diego in May.
The SaintBots’ Self-Sustaining Atomospheric Venusian Colony (SSAVC) works by creating a pressurized dome that floats above the surface of Venus.
Although, interstellar travel and the subsequent colonization of Venus, is not commonplace conversation in current times, it is a possible reality of the not-so-distant future.
The middle school group explained, “This colony is an idea for the future and will not happen overnight.”
Some of the reasons the team gave to colonize the solar system are resources, exploration, scientific research and a “lifeboat” in case of catastrophe on earth.
Furthermore, the team chose the planet Venus because it is easier to deal with the heat on Venus than the cold on Mars. Also, the gravity and mass are similar to that of Earth’s; a shorter time travel time (three months for Venus verses five months to Mars); metals could be extracted from Venus’ atmosphere due to high temperature and gases; and the ability to research Earth’s global warming issues since Venus has a “runaway greenhouse effect, the same issue that the Earth is currently facing.”
The concept colony would have all necessities to support life while providing a base for science, research and commercial mining.
The group has calculated the ways to harvest energy, food, and resources, as well as specifically how many would be relocated to the colony and how many men and women would be needed for the colony to function.
The students are working today for a better tomorrow and may one day be pioneers in interstellar travel and the subsequent colonization of Venus.