We rose from the wake of a Hurricane, the most devastating disaster to hit our nation. We found FIRST Robotics and gave our students new goals and aspirations, a new motivation to reach higher levels of achievement. We started small, but as a rookie team we were named for the Rookie Inspiration Award at the Peachtree Regional Competition.
Our second year was still as Mercy Cross High School. We were at approximately 20 members and attended Bayou Regional, its inaugural year. We received the Judges’ Award and United Laboratories Safety Award
Our Third Year we became St. Patrick Catholic High School. We did increase our membership by 50%. We attended the Bayou Regional Competition where we were awarded the Autodesk Visualization Award.
Our Fourth year, we stabilized our membership at St. Patrick Catholic High School. Attending Bayou Regional, we were awarded Autodesk Visualization Award and the Engineering Inspiration Award. This latter award allowed us advancement to National Competition in Atlanta and a $5000 grant from NASA.
In our sixth year, our membership increased to 70 students. We continued our LEGO League with six teams! Team Tempest members attended the LEGO meetings at five area schools and our own St. Patrick Junior High. Our team members mentored each team. Two schools increased to two teams for competition. In the LEGO Championships, one of our teams took two of the top spots. We, in total, had four awards in the LEGO Championships.
New to 2010-2011, we partnered again with the American Red Cross for a new disaster preparedness program called the “Pillowcase Project”. Our team created a committee which was trained to attend the Parochial third grade classes throughout our Diocese. The purpose of the Pillowcase Project is to work with this age group of students in designing and creating a set of emergency supplies that they will pack in their pillowcase to take with them in case they must evacuate. Since Hurricane Katrina, the need for this project is even more necessary. The focus group was designated through a grant written by the American Red Cross.
Our goals for our sixth year are to re-build our team. The seniors who graduated in 2010 had mostly been with the team since its first year. Our seniors have prepared our underclassmen and mentored their work. For 2010-2011, our team hopes to rebuild its resources to the same level.
Our team had a goal of initiating LEGO league to our feeder schools. Seven schools who send their graduating sixth graders to St. Patrick were invited to implement a LEGO team. Coaches were placed at each school, selected by that school. Our Team Tempest members selected one team to mentor in programming and building through the first semester of school. LEGO Competition was postponed until January 30 due to weather.
One school has requested to be a Junior Lego League pilot school. In order to keep our numbers in check, only one team was implemented.
At this time, only one regional is planned for our team. The Economic status of our surrounding area and of our families is projected to have an impact on the financial status of our team. We will attend Bayou Regional and see where we go from there. New forms of fund-raising are being discussed to create a more stable financial foundation for our team. Larger companies in our geographical area will be visited. Stabilizing large companies who are already our major sponsors will be a goal to keep them as supporters of our team